Tenn. Tech 64, Murray St. 59
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Zac Swansey hit a 3-pointer with 24 seconds left to give Tennessee Tech a five-point lead in a 64-59 upset of Ohio Valley Conference tournament top-seed Murray State in Friday night’s semifinals.
Murray State (23-8), which upset Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA tournament last season, had earned a double-bye in the new OVC format and was only two wins away from its 15th NCAA bid.
Kevin Murphy led the fourth-seeded Golden Eagles (20-11) with 19 points, including two free throws on a foul ruled intentional with 1.3 seconds remaining.
Isacc Miles hit four straight free throws as the Racers battled back from 10 points down to lead 53-51 with 3:03 to play. But Dillard’s dunk from Swansey’s pass put Tech back on top, Dillard hit two free throws, and Swansey nailed the 3 after two missed free throws by Murray’s Ivan Aska.
Tech’s Dillard had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Aska’s 14 points led Murray, with Miles adding 11.
Tech went up by 10 points on Murphy’s basket with 10:43 to play before Murray went on a 10-2 run, including 3-pointers by Isaiah Canaan — his first bucket of the game — and Donte Poole.