Tennessee snaps 3 game skid, edges Belmont 66-65

Vols get early Christmas present while avoiding first four game losing streak under head coach Bruce Pearl

FILE - This Nov. 17, 2010, file photo shows Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl yelling to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri State, in Knoxville, Tenn. Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive has suspended Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl for the Volunteers' first eight conference games as punishment for violating NCAA rules and misleading investigators. Slive sent a letter Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010, that informed Pearl he is prohibited from participating in practices, meetings and any activities related to games between Jan. 8 and Feb. 5. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Scotty Hopson scored 19 points and drove the lane for a go-ahead layup with 5.7 seconds left as No. 19 Tennessee edged Belmont 66-65 on Thursday night to end a three-game losing skid.

The Volunteers (8-3) had a 62-59 lead with 2:47 to go, but the Bruins scored seven unanswered points. Jon House was fouled by Brian Williams as he hit a layup with 48 seconds left to make it 63-62, but missed the foul shot.

Belmont (9-3) answered a pair of free throws by Hopson with a layup by Mitch Hedgepeth before Hopson's game-winning basket. Kerron Johnson took a 3-pointer from the wing at the buzzer for the Bruins, but it rimmed out.

Scott Saunders came off the bench to lead Belmont with 12 points.

Tennessee led by as many as 13 points in the first half and went 22 of 37 from the free throw line. Belmont attempted only 10 foul shots, making seven.


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