Belmont advances to OVC title game with win over E. Kentucky

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Adam Kunkel scored 15 points and Grayson Murphy scored 10 and Belmont beat Eastern Kentucky 60-50 on Friday in the semifinals of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament on Friday night.

The Bruins play Murray State on Saturday for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Four Belmont starters scored early, and Michael Bankert's two free throws with 9:16 left before intermission gave the top-seeded Bruins a 20-9 lead. Russhard Cruickshank's three-point play brought the fourth-seeded Colonels with 22-16. Belmont went to the break up 30-21 and were never threatened in the second half.

Cruickshank scored 15 and Jomaru Brown 12.

Both teams struggled shooting as Belmont (25-7) made just 22 of 65 (33.8%) including 7 of 30 from 3-point range. The Colonels (16-17) finished 29.9% from the field (20 of 67), were 5 of 22 from beyond the arc and missed seven of 12 foul shot attempts.

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More AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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