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Hopson, No. 19 Vols hold off Belmont

Dec 24, 2010 - 8:53 AM Knoxville, TN (Sports Network) - Scotty Hopson scored the go-ahead layup with 5.7 seconds left, and the 19th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers edged the Belmont Bruins, 66-65, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Hopson finished with a game-high 19 points and Tobias Harris scored 17 to go along with seven rebounds and five steals for Tennessee (8-3), which snapped a three-game losing streak.

"I don't know how much stress there is around the holidays, but I know we're adding to it," said Vols head coach Bruce Pearl. "You had two very good teams that played really hard and made a lot of good plays. Both teams deserved to win."

Scott Saunders led Belmont (9-3) with 12 points and nine rebounds and Mick Hedgepeth scored 11, including a layup in the final minute that put the Bruins up 65-64.

Hopson made two from the line inside three minutes left to put the Vols up 62-56. Belmont's Jordan Campbell then hit a deep three-pointer seven seconds later to make it a one-possession game, and J.J. Mann made two free throws with two minutes remaining to put the game at 62-61.

Belmont took the lead for the first time since 6-3 when Jon House converted on a driving layup inside a minute remaining, and Hopson made another set from the charity stripe to put Tennessee up 64-63.

Hedgepeth's layup went down with 18.1 seconds left, and after a quick timeout by the Bruins, Hopson had the final go-ahead basket drop with 5.7 seconds left on the clock.

The Bruins' Kerron Johnson attempted a long three at the buzzer, but the shot was off target.

"I was proud of our team," Belmont head coach Rick Byrd said. "If you had told me we were going to be 8-for-35 from three-point-range -- I hope what that says is we can play an SEC team on the road and have a chance to win shooting the ball horribly."

Tennessee had a 26-16 lead after a Cameron Tatum fast break layup with under nine minutes left, and the Vols led 35-23 at the intermission behind a 10-point first half from Harris.

Game Notes

Belmont had a four-game winning streak snapped...The Bruins shot 50 percent from the field in the second half, 43 percent for the Vols...Tennessee avoided its first four-game skid in the Bruce Pearl era...The Volunteers have won all three all-time meetings.