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Murphy pours in record-setting 50 points, Tech rolls past SIUE

Dillard becomes 34th member of TTU 1,000-point club

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Multiple scoring records fell in Tennessee Tech's 98-80 victory over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Monday at Eblen Center as Kevin Murphy poured in 50 points.

In the process, the senior guard set a new all-time Tennessee Tech scoring record as well as the Eblen Center record, establishing a new personal career-high as well. The previous single-game scoring record at Tech was 48 points, set by both Ron Filipek in 1965-66 and Jimmy Hagan in 1958-59. The previous Eblen Center high was set by John Best in 1993 with 38 points. Additionally, Murphy also tied the Eblen Center high for most field goals made in a game with 16.

The 50 points was the most scored by a Division I player this season.

Murphy's final line read 16-for-21 shooting to go with seven rebounds. He went 6-for-9 from three point range and was 12-for-14 at the free-throw line. He also moved into second on Tech's all-time scoring list, passing John Best. He now has 1,827 career points.

"The record means a lot to me, and I just credit my teammates," Murphy said. "I was feeling hot and they kept feeding me the ball. …I was shooting free throws (with 1:36 left) and Zach Bailey came up behind me and said, 'You're about to get 50.' I just thought he was joking at first."

Murphy entered the game averaging 20.0 points per game and raised his average to 21.3. He is now tied for sixth in scoring in NCAA Division I. The 50-point game was one of just 11 in Ohio Valley Conference history and came up five points short of tying the all-time conference record. He was the first OVC player to score 50-plus points in a game since Brett Roberts of Morehead State scored 53 in 1991-92.

In addition to Murphy's epic evening, another milestone was reached in the game as junior guard Jud Dillard became the 34th member of Tech's 1,000-point club. Dillard finished with six points and now has 1,003 in his career. Dillard reached the milestone with 5:30 left in the first half on a layup. Dillard also notched his 500th rebound in the game, becoming one of just 15 Tech players all-time to score both 1,000 points and pull down 500 boards.

With the win, the Golden Eagles improved to 14-9 overall and 6-4 in the OVC, avenging a December loss to the Cougars in Edwardsville. Tech moved into fourth place in the league and is a half-game behind Tennessee State in third.

The 98 points the Golden Eagles scored was the most this season and the most since Tech scored 109 in a triple overtime game against UT Martin on Jan. 13, 2011. The last time the Golden Eagles scored as many points in a non-overtime game against a Division I opponent came on Jan. 3, 2009, when Tech poured in 103 points against Southeast Missouri.

Monday's  game was tied at 23-all with 8:38 left to play in the first half, but Tech took control from there, going on a 10-0 jaunt to take a lead it wouldn't lose. After SIUE cut the lead back to six at the 3:12 mark, the Golden Eagles responded by outscoring the Cougars 15-5 over the rest of the half to take a commanding 48-33 lead into halftime.

Tech quickly built its advantage to 20 early in the second half on a Dillard jumper with 18:54 remaining to make the score 53-33. Thirteen points was as close as SIU Edwardsville would get for the rest of the evening as Tech built its lead as high as 24.

Though Murphy stole the spotlight, two other Golden Eagles also notched career-high numbers. Zac Swansey dished out 14 assists, besting his previous high of 12, and Javon McKay tied a career-high with 15 points and set another with five rebounds.

Tech also got nine points from Zach Bailey, who was a perfect 5-for-5 at the free-throw line, while Terrell Barnes delivered five points and eight rebounds.

The Golden Eagles shot 55 percent from the field, went 7-for-14 from three-point range and 25-for-30 at the free-throw line. They dished out 22 assists as a team compared to SIU Edwardsville's nine and held the Cougars to 42 percent from the field.

Jerome Jones led SIU Edwardsville with 25 points and four other Cougars reached double-figures, including Mark Yelovich, who notched a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

The game was a back-and-forth affair for the first 12 minutes of the first half, and SIUE held a four-point lead at the 15-minute mark.

The Golden Eagles return to action on Thursday, traveling to Austin Peay for a 7 p.m. tip-off at the Dunn Center in Clarksville, Tenn.