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Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles vs. Murray State Racers men's basketball final: Golden Eagles take advantage of Murray State dry spells in 71-65 victory

Murray State struggled to score over long stretches of time and Tennessee Tech took advantage in a Thursday night win.

Gunnar Rathbun-USA TODAY Sports

A poor shooting night at home did the Murray State Racers in, as the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles continued their winning ways with a 71-65 win. A large part of this victory was the exemplary night that TTU had at the charity stripe, going 34-39 on freebies.

Torrance Rowe and Ryan Martin managed to go a combined 24-24 from the free throw line on the night in converting essential free baskets. The two of them combined for 43 total points, while Jeffery Moss was the lone Racer to post a good offensive night. Murray State struggled mightily from the floor throughout the night, going through extended spells of poor shooting while only shooting 28.1 percent from the field. A 6-28 night from 3-point land compounded the troubles, but Moss (with 20 points) was the lone man on coach Matt McMahon's team to hit a triple.

Two separate times on the night, Murray State missed 10+ consecutive shots. Not ideal.

Even as the game was close throughout the night, TTU managed to keep a lead for about 3/4 of the game. Murray State was as close as one with six minutes to go but a couple of Aleksa Jugovic free throws put the Eagles up three. A 9-0 run had TTU up 62-52 with 2:21 to go.

Wayne Langston struggled with some foul-trouble and finished the night with 7 points in another night where he struggled to see the floor much. A 7-35 performance from MSU in the second half didn't make matters much better for the home team.

A night like this marked a changing of the guard in Paducah and the Ohio Valley Conference. Though TTU will want to cut down on a 17-turnover night, the Eagles have to be happy about the defensive effort. Coach Steve Payne's team sits at 11-5 and a conference-best 3-0 after Thursday night's win.