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February 12, 2009

Murray State uses second half surge to down Golden Eagles, 73-52

MURRAY, Ky. -- Tyler Holloway hit six 3-pointers – including three straight during the decisive second half run – on his way to a game-high 20 points, leading the Murray State Racers to a 73-52 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Tennessee Tech Thursday night in the Regional Special Events Center.

Down 43-41 with about 11 minutes remaining, the Golden Eagles had the ball with a chance to tie things up. Instead, the Tech went ice-cold over the next eight minutes and the Racers went on a 25-5 run to pull away to the victory.

During the stretch, Tech missed seven shots including two 3-point tries, had four turnovers and five fouls. Meanwhile, Holloway had nine points and Ivan Aska six as the Racers ran away from Tech.

Holloway finished 6-for-10 from long range on his way to 20 points, along with four assists. Danero Thomas scored 14 with three steals, and Aska added a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds for MSU.

Tony Easley, whose dunk with 3:33 remaining completed the run and made it a 68-46 lead, finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds, giving the home team two double-doubles.

Freshman Kevin Murphy led Tech with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Daniel Northern posted his eighth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds. The OVC leader in blocked shots, Northern add five more blocks.

Tech kept things tight in the first half, despite trailing by as many as 10 points. Down 29-20 late in the period, Tech scored a 6-0 run to creep to within three points, and went to halftime down 31-28.

Murray opened another 10-point lead before Tech used an 8-0 run to make it 39-37 with 12:32 to play. A layup by Bassey Inameti made it 43-41 with 10:55 remaining, but that was the end of the line for Tech’s chances.

After slipping behind by 22 points, 68-46, Northern hit a layup with 3:10 remaining, the first basket by the Golden Eagles in more than six minutes. Holloway hit another 3-pointer to make it 71-48 and the Racers cruised to the finish line.

MSU didn’t shoot that well, hitting 37.9 percent overall, but managed 40 percent (8-for-20) from long range. The Golden Eagles made only 30.3 percent (15-for-49) from the field and 27 percent (3-for-11) from outside the arc.

MSU had a 49-36 advantage in rebounds.

The Racers improved to 13-10 overall and 8-5 in the OVC. Tech’s record slipped to 11-14 overall and 5-10 in the OVC.

The Golden Eagles visit UT Martin Saturday for a 6 p.m. game against the Skyhawks.