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Western Kentucky 69, Belmont 44

December 3, 1996

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) _ Joe Harney scored 14 of his game-high 17 points in the first half and Western Kentucky was never challenged in a 69-44 win over Belmont College on Monday night.

The Hilltoppers (2-1) started the game with a 15-0 run and didn’t allow the Bruins (4-3) a basket until the 12:11 mark of the first half.

Doug Webb broke Belmont’s drought with a 3-point shot but the Hilltoppers opened up a first-half lead as large as 22.

The Hilltoppers continued to pull away in the second half, staking their biggest lead at 53-19 on a 3-pointer by Jermel Thomas with 13:03 left in the game. Thomas, a junior-college transfer from Neosho, (Kan.) Community College, scored 10 points. Steven Bides also had 10 for Western.

Western outrebounded Belmont 39-32, forced 18 turnovers and held the Bruins to 29 percent shooting for the game.

Webb scored 11 and Ryan Steger and Michael Couey added nine each for Belmont.

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