Golden Eagles outlast Bluefield for 85-78 exhibition win

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Sophomore Kevin Murphy led Tennessee Tech with a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double and senior Frank Davis scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half as the Golden Eagles claimed an 85-78 exhibition victory over a scrappy Bluefield College team Thursday night in Eblen Center.

Tech also got 16 points, six rebounds and four assists from senior Elijah Muhammad and 11 points, six rebounds from junior Alfred Jones in the come-from behind victory.

Bluefield owned a 38-37 lead at halftime, and the upset-minded Ramblin' Rams scratched to within four points with 1:18 remaining.

Murphy, who was 11-for-12 at the free throw line, made four consecutive charity tosses down the stretch to clinch the win.

Omar Reed paced the Rams with 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting, including 3-for-5 from long range. Borgia M'Bala had 12 points and Carlton Shumake added 11 points and five rebounds for Bluefield.

Shumake hit a jumper at the 18:39 mark to put Bluefield ahead 4-2, and the Rams maintained a lead the entire first half. Bluefield's lead grew to as many as nine points on two occasions in the period, the last coming with 9:54 remaining in the half at 29-20 on a tip-in by Brian Daniels.

Murphy's 3-pointer with 2:07 to play made it a one-point game, 38-37, and it was the final scoring in the half.  It was Murphy's only basket of the first 20 minutes as he went 1-for-10.

He found the range in the second, going 3-for-3 and scoring 13 of his 20 points after the break. Davis, who had just two at the intermission, was 5-for-5 in the second half including all four of his 3-point attempts as the twosome keyed the surge.

A 3-pointer by Davis in the first half minute put Tech ahead for the first time in the game. After a 3-pointer by Reed, Davis knocked down another 3-pointer to lift the Golden Eagles back on top to stay.

Shumake hit a trey to make it 45-44 with 15:55 to play, before the Golden Eagles went on a 12-0 run to build a double-digit lead. Tech's largest lead of the night came with 11:51 to play when a layup by Jud Dillard made it 62-46.

Tech maintained a double-figure lead for the next five minutes, but Bluefield began to whittle down the difference ove the final five minutes. The Rams cut it to four points four times, the last being at 81-77 with 1:18 remaining on a jumper by Marcus Jackson.

After shooting 35 percent in the first half, the Golden Eagle hit 55.6 percent in the second to finish the game at 44.3 percent. Tech was 8-for-16 from long range and 23-for-32 at the free throw line.

The Golden Eagles had az 50-34 advantage in rebounds.

The regular season is next for coach Mike Sutton's team, which opens at the University of Minnesota next Friday, Nov. 13. Tipoff between the Golden Eagles and Golden Gophers is at 7 p.m. from Williams Arena in Minneapolis.

All of the action for every Tech games can be heard on the Golden Eagle Sports Network, and also on Free Teamline.