Tech to honor six seniors in pregame festivities
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech welcomes the highest-ranked opponent it has ever hosted at Eblen Center in a game rife with postseason implications as No. 12 Murray State visits for Saturday's Senior Night.
Coming into the final day of the regular season in the Ohio Valley Conference, the Golden Eagles are currently in a three-way tie for third place and are fighting to finish at least fourth, securing a first-round bye at the upcoming OVC Tournament. The Golden Eagles are tied with Morehead State and Southeast Missouri as all three squads are 9-6 in league play.
Six Tech seniors will play their final game at Eblen Center on Saturday. Zach Bailey, Riley Hunley, Bassey Inameti, Liam McMorrow, Kevin Murphy and Zac Swansey will be honored prior to tip-off against the Racers.
Tech owns the head-to-head tiebreaker against Southeast Missouri and would also come out on top in a tiebreaker should all three teams win or lose on Saturday. If the Golden Eagles and Morehead State both win on Saturday and SEMO loses, Tech would hold the tiebreaker over the Eagles. If both TTU and Morehead State lose, MSU would hold the tiebreaker advantage.
The Golden Eagles last faced Murray State on Jan. 14 in Murray, falling 82-74. In that game, Tech fell behind early, then rallied to even the game only to fall behind once again in the final 10 minutes of the second half.
The Golden Eagles are led by Kevin Murphy, who is averaging 20.4 points per game and ranked 11th nationally as of Monday. Murphy and Jud Dillard, who scores 18.2 points per game, are the nation's third-leading scoring duo. Dillard also leads the Golden Eagles in rebounding with 8.7 boards per game while Zac Swansey is Tech's assist leader with 5.9.
Isaiah Canaan leads Murray State in scoring at 19.3 points per game while Donte Poole and Ivan Aska also score in double-figures with 14.0 and 11.6 points respectively. Aska is the Racers' leading rebounder, averaging 5.9 boards per game. Murray State's stats do not reflect Thursday night's 80-62 victory at Tennessee State.
Tech has won two consecutive games and five of its last seven. The Golden Eagles are 18-11 overall and are coming off a 77-71 BracketBusters win at Coastal Carolina. Murray State is 27-1 overall and 14-1 in the OVC. The Racers are coming off a victory at Tennessee State, the only team to have defeated them this season.
Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. following the conclusion of the women's game.
Tickets for the contest still remain and are available at the Eblen Center box office or by calling (931) 372-3940. The game will be streamed on ESPN3.com can be heard on the Golden Eagle Sports Network on WHUB AM 1400.