Belmont beats South Carolina Upstate 88-79

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Kerron Johnson scored 19 points to lead five in double figures for Belmont in an 88-79 win over South Carolina Upstate on Monday night, keeping the Bruins atop the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Drew Hanlen added 18 points, both Mick Hedgepeth and Blake Jenkins had 11 apiece and Ian Clark added 10 for Belmont (22-7, 14-2). The Bruins extended their season-high winning streak to nine games -- a stretch that began after a Jan. 21st loss to S.C. Upstate in the teams' only other meeting this season.

The Bruins led from wire to wire this time, though, opening the game on a 21-9 run and leading by 12 points at the break. The Spartans outscored Belmont 44-41 in the second half, even pulling within three with less than six minutes to play, but it wasn't enough.

Ty Greene had 18 points to pace S.C. Upstate (18-11, 11-5).