No. 12 Murray St. Edges Tennessee State 54-52 For OVC
March 3, 2012 5:34 PM CST
Murray State’s Ivan Aska (42) dunks over Tennessee State’s Robert Covington (33) in the first half of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship on Saturday in Nashville. (AP Photo)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Jewuan Long drove the baseline for a layup with 4.4 seconds left, and 12th-ranked Murray State rallied from seven points down in the final 5:28 to beat Tennessee State 54-52 for the Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship Saturday and an automatic NCAA tournament berth.
Long also stripped Tigers guard Patrick Miller of the ball and guarded Robert Covington on the final long shot at the buzzer to preserve the win, getting the Racers to 30-1 and avoiding a second loss to the only team to beat them this season.
Covington led Tennessee State (20-12) with 14 points, and Kellen Thornton had 11.
Now the Racers are back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010 when they went 31-5 and beat Vanderbilt in the first round.
Isaiah Canaan and Donte Poole each scored 14 points for the Racers.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)