Murray State basketball headed to the OVC Final


Things are better when people admit their mistakes, and Bluegrass Dominion readers, us here at BGD goofed up. We allowed one of our Kentucky schools to slip into the top 25 and go unnoticed here. However, now that we admit our ignorance, that top 25 team did play last night, and turned out to be quite a treat for those who tuned in.

That top 25 team just so happens to be the Murray State Racers who squared off against bluegrass foe Morehead State in the Ohio Valley Conference semi-finals. Murray State entered last night’s game as the number one seed playing their first game of the tourney, while the Eagles faired as the number 5 seed, playing their 3rd game in three days for the OVC tournament.

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  • Despite the score being close through much of the first half, the Racers would hold an 11 point lead heading into halftime with a score of 43-32 over the Eagles. The second half however is when things would get interesting.

    Morehead State would slowly eradicate the 11 point deficit from halftime to where they would regain the lead with 13:39 to play in the game. Regaining the lead however wouldn’t be enough for the Eagles, as the underdog team would extend that cushion to 11 points with 6:33 to play in the contest, making things very interesting for the 25th ranked team in the nation, not wanting their 24 game win streak to fall. The Racers would rally back and tie things up with just over a minute remaining.

    After a made three point jumper and two made free throws Murray State held a three point lead over the Eagles. With 22 seconds remaining, Morehead State had to make a move. They would wait until ten seconds to go to shoot a three, which would miss. But wait, they crash the boards and find an offensive rebound, then would call a timeout with eight seconds remaining for one final play. That final play would feature a Chad Donley three point jumper that wouldn’t find it’s way in, ending the Eagles respective season, and lifting the ranked team to the 80-77 victory.

    The Racers were lead by sophomore guard Cameron Payne who tallied up 25 points along with four rebounds and four assists. He was assisted by senior forward Jarvis Williams who totaled a double-double of 23 points and ten boards.

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    The Racers were solid from the floor, shooting 47% on the evening, while also converting 18 of their 23 free throws (78%). Murray won the rebounding battle 42-33. The Eagles were right behind the Racers in shooting percentage as they saw 44% of their shots fall through the net. Morehead was also able to knock down eight field goals that came from behind the arc.

    Stats can only tell parts of the story, but you can catch my drift that the better team won last night, but the Eagles gave the 25th ranked team in the nation everything that they could handle.

    The Racers are back in action this evening on ESPN2 as they compete for the OVC Championship against the third seeded Belmont Bruins down in Nashville. That game gets underway at 7pm ET.