Men's basketball tips off against reigning OVC champs Friday at 7 p.m.

Men's basketball tips off against reigning OVC champs Friday at 7 p.m.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After handing UT Martin a hefty 83-59 victory in the quarterfinal round of the conference tournament on Thursday, the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles will have to turn around to take on the defending OVC champions and 2010 NCAA tournament participants in Murray State.

The game, which marks the first of the semi-final round of the tournament, will tip off at 7 p.m. in Nashville Municipal Auditorium on Friday evening. It is also the first game played by the Racers this tournament.

Tech is headed in on their hottest streak of the season, having notched their sixth straight win on Thursday over the Skyhawks to put them at 19-11 overall on the season, 13-6 in the OVC including post-season play. They have now won 10 of their last 12 games.

The Racers meanwhile, having earned the top seed in post-season play by clinching the regular season OVC title, earned first and second round BYEs in the post season tourney. They've won 11 of their last 12 contests, most recently defeating Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State to finish regular season conference play, and Evansville in their Sears/ESPNU BracketBuster game.

Murray and Tech have already met twice this season in conference play, with the Racers coming out on top in both contests. In an offensive battle in Murray, Tech shouldered a 92-85 loss, while an opposite performance showcasing both teams on defense yielded a 55-44 win for the Racers.

Friday's match-up will showcase the talent of five all-OVC conference guards, as Tech's first-team Kevin Murphy and all-newcomer team member Zac Swansey hope to lead the Golden Eagles against Murray's first-team Isaiah Canaan and second-team honorees Isaac Miles and B.J. Jenkins.

Murphy notched his ninth 20+ point performance of the season with his efforts against UT Martin to lead the Golden Eagles in points scored with 24 to Friday's semi-final round.

Fans who can't make it to Nashville for the tournament can follow the LiveStats for all games at the following link: 2011 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.

Roger Ealey will be calling the action for the Golden Eagles on the Golden Eagle Sports Network and on free Teamline, via the internet or telephone at 1-800—846-4700; Tech code 0654.