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Sycamores Top Belmont in Final Non-Conference Game

Indiana State and Belmont locked horns for the second time this season and the Sycamores used a season-high 25 points from senior guard Jake Odum to earn an 85-73 victory over the Bruins in front of 4,837 fans inside Hulman Center. The Sycamores improved to 9-3 on the season, and their nine non-conference victories ties it with the 2011-12 team as the most under fourth-year head coach Greg Lansing. Belmont fell to 8-6. Odum scored his 25 points by going 7-of-14 (50 percent) from the field, and he hit his only 3-point attempt of the contest. He was also 10-of-11 from the free throw line to go with seven assists, five rebounds and four steals. Odum's four steals give him 189 for his career which moved him past Micheal Menser for fourth place on the Indiana State all-time chart. Four others joined Odum in double figures scoring as Manny Arop scored 16 points while Demetrius Moore, Khristian Smith and Justin Gant all scored 10. Overall, ISU was 50 percent from the field (31-of-62) and drained seven 3-pointers. Indiana State was 16-of-20 from the free throw line in the contest. Indiana State held a 35-29 edge in the battle of the glass and turned 12 offensive rebounds into 12 second chance points. ISU scored 12 fast break points and held a 42-20 edge in points in the paint. The Sycamore defense forced 19 Belmont turnovers. Belmont scored first in the game on a 3-pointer from the right corner by Reece Chamberlain but ISU answered with back-to-back lay-ups from Khristian Smith to regain a 4-3 edge. The Sycamores trailed 8-6 before posting a 7-0 run earned which included two jumpers by Gant and then a triple from Smith for a 13-8 advantage with 15:07 left in the first half. Consecutive 3-pointers by Arop and Dawon Cummings pushed the lead out to 19-11 one minute later. Belmont whittled the Sycamore lead away and tied the game at 24 on a jumper by Craig Bradshaw with 6:53 remaining in the half. The Bruins lead reached 28-24 on a 6-0 run before Cummings converted a fastbreak dunk with 4:42 on the clock and then Gant buried a 3-pointer to regain a 29-28 advantage. A pair of free throws from Evans Bradds made it 33-31 in favor of Belmont with 3:01 on the clock before a lay-up from Moore and then a trifecta from Arop made it 36-33 one minute later. After JJ Mann tied it up at 36, Moore answered with a lay-up at the 1:03 mark for a 38-36 halftime lead. Gant scored off an offensive rebound on the first possession of the second half for a 40-36 lead before Belmont scored five in a row to regain a 41-40 edge. Moore hit a layup to momentarily put the Sycamores ahead but Mann answered with a triple for a 44-42 Belmont lead with 16:11 on the clock. Arop hit a jumper in the paint with 15:03 remaining to knot the score at 44. After Belmont took a 46-44 lead, the game saw its eighth tie on a tip-in from Arop with 12:44 remaining. A conventional 3-point play from Odum on ISU's next possession staked ISU to a 49-46 lead and then the game saw its ninth tie on a jumper from Chamberlain to level the score at 49. Odum gave the Sycamores the lead for good at the 10:06 mark on a jumper for a 51-50 lead and then Smith hit a 3-pointer to make it 54-50. Leading 63-59 with 6:23 remaining, ISU scored six points in a row off a pair of Odum free throws and then a lay-up from Devonte Brown and finally a pair of Odum charity tosses for a 69-59 cushion with 4:38 remaining. From there, ISU was solid at the free throw line and a fastbreak lay-up from Arop with 24 seconds remaining iced the contest and secured the 85-73 victory. Belmont placed three scorers in double figures, led by 18 points from Bradshaw.
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