Spencer scores winner as Tennessee St. bumps off Belmont

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Delano Spencer scored the go-ahead basket and Tennessee State made seven of eight free throws over the final two minutes for a closing 9-0 run to knock off Ohio Valley Conference leader Belmont 64-56 Thursday night.

The win was the fifth in a row for Tennessee State (13-11, 8-5), which has climbed into a tie for third place. Belmont (19-7, 11-2), which had won its previous eight, finds itself in a tie for first with Murray State.

Belmont, which was held to 45-percent shooting, battled back from as many as 13 down to wrest a 56-55 lead with four minutes to go when Dylan Windler scored on an alley-oop, capping a 7-2 run.

The lead didn’t last long as Spencer hit a fadeaway jumper on Tennessee State’s next possession and the Tigers held Belmont scoreless over the last 3:54, the Bruins missing their last five shots.

Spencer finished with 14 points, Christian Mekowulu scored 18. Tigers made 21 of 26 free throws while Belmont, converting 6 of 9, didn’t get to the line in the final 20 minutes.

Amanze Egekeze led Belmont with 16 points.