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February 27, 2010

Golden Eagles slip past Gamecocks on Senior Night, 72-62

No. 6 seeded Golden Eagles will play at Austin Peay Tuesday night

2010 Men's OVC Basketball Tournament Bracket (PDF)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech downed Jacksonville State, 72-62, Saturday night in Eblen Center to secure the No. 6 seed in next week’s Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, but coach Mike Sutton’s team had to wait a little longer to learn their travel destination.

Once the night’s final outcome was decided in Cape Girardeau, Austin Peay had roared back from a five-point deficit to beat Southeast Missouri in overtime and claim the No. 3 seed.

That means both of Tennessee Tech’s basketball teams will head to Clarksville on Tuesday for OVC Tourney play against the Governors. In both the men’s and women’s races, Tech took the No. 6 seed and APSU earned the No. 3 spot.

On Saturday night, Kevin Murphy led Tech with 22 points and the Golden Eagles held the Gamecocks to 36 percent shooting to claim the victory in the regular season finale.

Tech finished with a 14-16 overall mark and an 8-10 record in OVC play. Jacksonville State slipped to 11-18 overall and 7-11 in the conference, taking the No. 7 spot in the eight-team bracket.

In addition to Murphy’s 22 points, Alfred Jones added 12 points and five rebounds and senior Elijah Muhammad had 10 points, six rebounds and three assists. Terrell Barnes chipped in with seven points and six rebounds. Freshman Jud Dillard also grabbed six rebounds.

Three Gamecocks reached in double digits, led by Nick Murphy with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Jeremy Bynum had 17 points and Stephen Hall netted 11.

Jacksonville State strung together and early 11-0 run, replacing an early seven-point Tech lead with a four-point edge by the Gamecocks with 11:29 to go in the first half. Tech recovered and the score was tied four more times in the half before the host Golden Eagles took a one-point advantage to the break, 29-28.

After three more tie scores in the first three minutes of the second half, the Golden Eagles jumped on top by six when Kevin Murphy drained a 3-pointer with 12:57 to play to make it 45-39.

With eight minutes to play, the Golden Eagles scored a 13-4 run to move from a two-point lead to an 11-point margin. Two big baskets came from Muhammad, first a 3-pointer than a layup and the Golden Eagles were ahead, 66-55 with 2:05 to go.

JSU was able to creep to within seven with 1:04 remaining on a layup by Dominique Shellman, but Zach Bailey and Muhammad each converted their free throws to clinch the win.