Thursday, March 5, 2015

Morehead State Slips Past SEMO to Advance in OVC Tournament

Morehead State 79
Southeast Missouri 74

Final from Nashville, Tennessee

OVC Tournament - First Round

Game recap by MSU:

NASHVILLE -- The Morehead State men's basketball team knocked down its final six free-throw attempts on Wednesday evening and hung on for a 79-74 win over Southeast Missouri in the opening round of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament at Municipal Auditorium.

The fifth-seeded Eagles, who have won nine of their last 12 games, improve to 16-16 overall and 2-1 on a neutral floor. The eighth-seeded Redhawks end their campaign 13-17 overall. MSU also moves to 27-17 in the all-time series with its third consecutive victory over SEMO.

Morehead State now faces fourth-seeded UT Martin in the second round on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. The winner gets a semifinal date with No. 25/24 Murray State on Friday. The league-tournament finale is slated for Saturday. The semifinals and championship will be nationally televised.

"I'm glad we were able to finish this game," Head Coach Sean Woods said. "Our guys seemed a little tight early on and maybe caught up in the moment. Give credit to Southeast Missouri because they played well tonight. It wasn't pretty, but we grinded out a win and live to play another day."

Senior Billy Reader paced Morehead State with 18 points, on 8-of-11 from the field, to go along with 10 rebounds. It was his second Division I double-double in 63 games as an Eagle. Classmate Angelo Warner scored 14 of his 16 points after intermission and made 7-of-9 from the foul line.

Senior Karam Mashour and sophomore Corban Collins, who netted 12 points apiece, gave Morehead State four players in double figures. Junior Anthony Elechi managed five rebounds for the Eagles, while Collins added a team-best five assists and Mashour was credited with two blocked shots.

Wednesday's affair featured 18 ties and 17 lead changes. Neither team led by more than seven points on the night and the biggest second-half advantage for either club was three points.

Southeast Missouri tallied a 36-31 rebounding advantage, including 28-21 on the defensive end. The Eagles have now been outrebounded just twice in the past 18 games and seven times this season.

Southeast Missouri committed 17 turnovers, while Morehead State committed just eight. The Eagles managed a 7-2 upper hand in steals and registered a 15-3 scoring advantage in points off miscues.

"Our young men didn't play particularly well, and they would admit that, but it's tournament time and it's all about finding a way to win," Woods said. "We kept fighting and got some important stops, plus Angelo (Warner) and Kareem (Storey) made free throws when we really needed them."

Complete Recap

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