Shall we dance? Racers defeat Bulldogs for tourney bid
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) – Trey Pearson scored 15 points to lead Murray
State to its 13th Ohio Valley Tournament title in a 74-57 victory over
Tyler Holloway had 13 points, Pearson Griffith had 11 points and five rebounds
and Justin Orr added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Racers (24-6), who
received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
J. Robert Merritt had a game-high 26 points and pulled down seven rebounds and
Travis Peterson added 15 points for the Bulldogs (20-11), who finished 1-2
against Murray State this season.
The Racers trailed early in the game after Merritt connected from long range,
which gave the Bulldogs a 15-11 lead a little under five minutes in.
However, Murray State responded with nine straight points, and had a 20-15
lead after Pearson connected on a jumper with 12:40 remaining.
The contest see-sawed back and forth for the remainder of the half and Samford
took a slim 33-32 lead into the locker room.
The Racers took control of the game when they started the second half with a
14-5 blitz. Griffith started the half with a layup to give his squad the lead,
and Keith Jenifer finished the run on a jumper to give his team a 46-38
Merritt nailed consecutive three-pointers to get his squad back to within two,
46-44, with the 11:51 remaining.
However, the Racers burst forth with a 16-4 run and held a commanding 62-48
lead after Griffith’s layup with 4:35 to play.
Murray State leads the all-time series, 9-7…The Racers shot 53.1 percent
from the floor, while Samford only managed to hit 33.3 percent of its
shots…Murray State dominated the boards, 45-29, with Shawn Witherspoon
pulling down 14…The Racers last won the Ohio Valley title in 2004…Merritt
shot 8-of-17 from long range…Murray State shot 9-of-18 from beyond the
arc…The Bulldogs shot 39 times from three-point range, but only connected 12