Tech leads from start to finish in 77-62 win over Southeast Missouri

Tech leads from start to finish in 77-62 win over Southeast Missouri

Golden Eagles head to Death Valley for next two OVC games

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Senior Kevin Murphy scored 26 points, going 4-for-4 from long range, and the Golden Eagles got a balanced effort while leading from start-to-finish Saturday night on the way to a 77-62 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Southeast Missouri in Eblen Center.

Tech (12-8/4-3 OVC) got 15 points and six assists from Jud Dillard and 10 points from Bassey Inameti as the Golden Eagles connected n 56.6 percent of their shots. Point guard Zac Swansey added six points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals.

The Redhawks (10-9/5-2 OVC), who came to town holding second place in the OVC standings, were winners in six of their last seven games.

SEMO had three players in double figures in the scoring column, and were led by Marcus Brister with 15 points, five rebounds, six assists and three steals. Tyler Stone added 14 points and nine rebounds while Marland Smith finished with 14 points and four assists. Leon Powell added nine points and five rebounds.

Tech led wire-to-wire, racing out to a 10-3 lead in the opening three minutes as Murphy scored five and Dennis Ogbe added back-to-back layups. The largest first-half lead was nine points, 16-7, while SEMO clawed its way back to within one point a couple of times late in the period.

A layup by Leon Powell with 4:47 remaining made it 28-27 before Bassey Inameti answered with a layup. Tyler Stone’s jumper at the 3:38 mark made it 30-29, before the Golden Eagles netted the final seven points of the half. Tech’s closing run included five from Zach Bailey, helping stake Tech to a 37-29 lead at halftime.

The lead appeared to go to 11 points but a 3-pointer by Zac Swansey at the buzzer was ruled to have been too late after an official review of the replay.

Tech’s lead bounded around between six and eight points early in the second half, before Brister hit a layup and Smith a 3-pointer to cut the difference to three points, 43-40, with 13:38 remaining.

Murphy then scored the next seven points to give the Golden Eagles a 10-point cushion, 50-40, with 12:03 to play and the lead stayed in double digits nearly the entire time after that.

SEMO cut it to nine once, and later pulled to within eight, but never got any closer. The largest lead in the contest was the final 15-point margin.

The Golden Eagles will head out next week on the OVC journey known as “Death Valley” when they play at Eastern Kentucky Thursday night and Morehead State Saturday afternoon.

Tipoff for the game at EKU is at 6 p.m. CT, while the Morehead contest starts at 2 p.m. CT and will be nationally televised on ESPNU.

Tech returns home the following Monday night (Jan. 30) to host SIU Edwardsville at 7 p.m. in Eblen Center.