Golden Eagles tame TSU Tigers, 61-56, behind Murphy and Jones

Golden Eagles tame TSU Tigers, 61-56, behind Murphy and Jones

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Sophomore Kevin Murphy led Tennessee Tech with 18 points, but it was his no-look pass to Alfred Jones for a layup with 33 seconds remaining that may have sealed the win as the Golden Eagles claimed 61-56 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Tennessee State Saturday night in the Eblen Center.

Nursing a three-point lead and trying to fend off a furious TSU comeback bid, Murphy fed Jones under the basket and Tech’s lead jumped to 59-54, enough for Tech’s third win in the last four games.

The Golden Eagles improved to 10-10 overall and 4-5 within the OVC, while TSU saw its mark drop to 4-17 overall and 1-8 in conference games.

Murphy finished with 18 points, five rebounds and three assists. Jones had 11 points and seven rebounds while freshman Jud Dillard notched 11 points and added four boards.

Jacquan Nobles topped the Tigers with 16 points and Will Peters added 12 points and three assists. Robert Covington had nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds, Josh Sain scored nine and Darius Cox contributed seven points and six rebounds.

The Golden Eagles held a commanding edge inside, outscoring TSU 32-14 in the paint.

The Tigers looked ready to take a bite out of Tech early in the game, breaking away to a seven point lead. When Peters hit two free throws with 15:13 to go in the opening period, TSU was on top 11-4.

Frank Davis and Murphy drained back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the TSU lead to one, and Dillard followed with a dunk to put the Golden Eagles ahead. The lead swapped benches several times before the Tigers surged back in front by seven, 26-19, with 3:07 left after Nobles hit a trey.

Tech closed the half with a 7-1 run to head to the break trailing by a single digit, 27-26.

The Golden Eagles gained momentum in the second half and moved ahead by as many as 11 points midway through the period. A layup by Jones with 7:43 remaining made it 50-39.

That’s when Tennessee State started to rally, going on a 12-0 run capped by a layup by Covington with 3:05 to play the pushed the Tigers to a 51-50 lead.

Murphy scored a 3-pointer 20 seconds later and Tech had regained the lead for good. A jumper by Murphy made it 55-52. Jones hit a layup for Tech and Cox answered with a layup at the other end to make it a 57-54 lead, setting the stage for Murphy’s pass through traffic for Jones’ layup and the five-point edge.

Tech will entertain Eastern Illinois on Thursday (Jan. 28) in its next action, and OVC doubleheader in Eblen Center beginning with the women’s game at 5:30 p.m.

The Putnam Country Health Dept. will be giving free H1N1 shots to any fan who needs the vaccine, and each person being vaccinated will also receive a free ticket to the game on either Thursday or Saturday vs. Southeast Missouri.

For tickets or more information, visit or call the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center at (931) 372-3940.