KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Scotty Hopson scored 18 points and No. 24 Tennessee hung on to beat Belmont 85-76 in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off on Tuesday night.
Tennessee (2-0) held a 71-54 lead with 7:01 to play, but Belmont's Drew Hanlen had three 3-pointers as part of a 22-6 run to cut that lead to a point. Mick Hedgepeth was fouled by John Fields while scrambling for a rebound and hit one free throw but missed a second that would have tied the game at 77 with 36.6 seconds left.
Cameron Tatum hit two foul shots for Tennessee after being fouled by Brandon Baker, and Ian Clark missed another chance to tie the game on a clean 3-point shot that bounced off the rim. The Vols hit their last eight free throws to preserve the win.
Clark led Belmont (0-1) with 18 points.
The Volunteers advance to play Missouri State in the second round on Wednesday night.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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