College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, March 6, 2015
The Ohio Valley conference flies under the radar most of the season, until some team in March has to come up against the likes of Murray State, which went through the conference schedule like a well-sharpened blade, going 16-0 to capture the regular season title.
Friday night found the Racers in a struggle with Morehead State, eventually prevailing in the semi-final game at Nashville, 80-77.
The inside-outside combination of Jarvis Williams and Cameron Payne proved critical throughout the contest and down the stretch, securing the win and an advance to the final, against Belmont, which barely escaped with a 53-52 win over Eastern Kentucky in the other semi-final.
Williams scored 23 points and ripped down 10 boards, while Payne led all scorers with 25 and rounded out his game with four rebounds, four assists, three steals and a pair of blocked shots.
In the final minutes of the game both players came to the fore. With a dunk at 1:45, Williams tied the game at 75, and Payne's three-pointer at 0:56 put the Racers up, 78-77. T.J. Sapp canned a pair of free throws as the Eagles could not produce another score.
Murray State will have to rest up quickly if they plan on securing their ticket to the Big Dance. The final against Belmont is scheduled for Saturday night at 7:00 pm.
Other than Kentucky, no team in the country has more consecutive wins than the 25th-ranked Eagles, currently holding at 25 straight.