MARTIN, Tenn. – Lester Hudson lifted the UT Martin
Skyhawks to the semifinals of the Ohio Valley Conference
Men’s Basketball Tournament with a 93-75 victory over
Tennessee Tech Tuesday night in the Elam Center.
Hudson, a likely winner of the OVC Player of the Year award later this week, led the Skyhawks with 42 points, nine rebounds and six assists in the first-round tournament victory.
Tech wrapped up the 2008-09 season with a 12-19 overall record, while UT Martin improved to 22-8.
Daniel Northern closed his Golden Eagle career with another double-double, scoring 18 points and snapping down 12 rebounds. He also added two more blocked shots to his league-leading total.
Freshman Kevin Murphy finished with 14 points and five rebounds and Alfred Jones came off the bench to contribute 13 points and five rebounds. DJ Lindsay added eight points and four boards.
Hudson was 15-for-24 from the field, including 8-of-13 from long range, on the way to his 42 points. He also had two steals and two blocked shots.
Olajide Hay added 17 points, hitting 8-for-8 from the floor, and Marquis Weddle had 11 points. Point guard Delrico Lane had nine assists for UTM.
Tech shot 41.4 percent from the field, going 29-for-70, including 5-for-23 from long range for 21.7 percent. The Golden Eagles were 12-for-14 at the free throw line for 85.7 percent, and held a 39-36 advantage in rebounds.
UT Martin shot 55.4 percent from the floor, including 63.3 percent in the second half. The Skyhawks were 10-for-26 from 3-point range.
The only lead of the game for the No. 8 seeded Golden Eagles came in the opening minute on a basket by Northern. Djero Riedewalk’s layup tied the score and Hay followed with a layup at the 17:46 mark and the Skyhawks never relinquished the lead.
Tech pulled to within four on a layup by Jones with 10:47 to play in the first half to make it 18-14, but the Skyhawks got back-to-back 3-pointers by Hudson and Weddle to start an 8-0 run and take the margin to double digits.
UT Martin held a 43-33 lead at halftime, and Tech trimmed the difference to seven points four times early in the second half, the final time coming with 16:19 remaining on two free throws by Northern to make it 51-44.
A 9-0 run by the Skyhawks built their lead to 18 points, and they maintained close to that margin over the final 14 minutes. The closest Tech got after that was 15 points on a 3-pointer by Jones with 11:16 to play.
The largest margin of the night was 24 points when UTM went up 85-61 with 6:52 to play.