Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Kerron Johnson hit a step-back jumper from the left side of the key with 1.2 seconds remaining in overtime, as the Belmont Bruins punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament with a 70-68 decision over the Murray State Racers for the Ohio Valley Conference title.
The Bruins became the third team on Saturday to enter "The Big Dance" as they joined Harvard (Ivy League) and Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun). Johnson finished with 12 points and six assists.
J.J. Mann scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Bruins (26-6), who advanced to the postseason for the third straight season, after winning the Atlantic Sun Conference title the each of the last two years. Trevor Noack and Ian Clark each donated 14 and 11 points, respectively, in the victory.
Stacy Wilson led Murray State with 23 points and made 5-of-7 from 3-point range for the Racers (21-10), who made an appearance in the OVC title game for the third time in the last four years.
Isaiah Canaan, who finished with 22 points, 10 assists and nine boards, also had six turnovers, the last one of which proved to be costly. Canaan got the ball around half-court with the game tied, but lost control and dribbled it off his leg for a backcourt violation. That's partly the reason Johnson and Belmont got the ball back before time expired.