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Morehead State Clears the Boards to Topple Tennessee-Martin

Milton Chavis and Morehead State will be playing another game in the OVC Tournament thanks to their ability to clean the glass.

Jason Szenes

There is a single stat that will define the Morehead State win over Tennessee-Martin in the opening round of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.

The numbers are 21-4. The stat is offensive rebounding.

If you watched any of the game during the first half, you would have thought that the two squads were evenly matched. But after halftime, the Eagles came alive on the glass.

There was a possession midway through the second half that pretty much typified what UT-Martin was up against. The Eagles had three offensive rebounds on a single possession, by three different players, and managed to turn it into a score, albeit from the free throw line.

That was making the most of that possession, something that the Skyhawks just couldn't do all night long.

It wasn't as if the Eagles lit it up from the floor either. They shot just 43.9 percent, and even worse, they were just 1-for-13 from 3-point range.

But you can be that bad when you have 21 offensive rebounds. That is how you pull away for a comfortable 73-66 win that more dominating than the final score would indicate.

Angelo Warner had 11 points and seven rebounds (2 offensive) and Milton Chavis added 14 points and five boards in the win.

UT-Martin's Mike Liabo led all scorers with 24 points, including a 4 of 9 performance from 3-points range, and 10-for-11 shooting at the free throw line. Terrence Smith scored 16 points for the Skyhawks.

Morehead State will take on Tennessee State on Thursday in the second round.