Recap: Murray State vs. Eastern Ky
Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Corey Walden scored 24 points, dished out four assists and recorded six steals as the third-seeded Eastern Kentucky Colonels held on down the stretch to defeat the second-seeded Murray State Racers, 86-83, in the semifinal round of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament at Municipal Auditorium.
Glenn Cosey netted 17 points, Orlando Williams chipped in 13, and both Eric Stutz and Marcus Lewis contributed 10 points for Eastern Kentucky (23-9), which will face Belmont in the OVC title game on Saturday.
Cameron Payne scored 24 points and hit a perfect 10-of-10 from the free-throw line to lead Murray State (18-11), but missed a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer after the Racers were forced to make a furious second-half comeback. Jeffery Moss tallied 18 points, Jarvis Williams chipped in 13 points with nine rebounds, and Dexter Fields and T.J. Sapp each scored 11 in the loss.
Eastern Kentucky hit an impressive 65.5 percent of its shot attempts in the first half, including 3-of-11 from 3-point range, and took a 46-37 lead into the intermission. Murray State connected on 48 percent of its field goal tries in the frame, and made 5-of-12 from 3-point distance.
The Colonels let the lead slip in the second half, even though they shot 52 percent from the floor and 11-of-15 from the free-throw line. The Racers hit 44 percent of their tries, including 4-of-16 from deep, and added 20-of-24 from the charity stripe. Murray State cut the lead to three in the final minutes, but couldn't make the full comeback or connect on two 3-point tries with under 10 seconds to play.
Eastern Kentucky kept its advantage by forcing 19 Murray State turnovers in the contest, and holding the Racers to a 32.1 percent 3-point shooting mark. Murray State outscored Eastern Kentucky from the free-throw line, 28-16, and outrebounded the Colonels, 34-20.Game Notes