Morehead clinches first-round OVC bye with double-overtime win over Austin Peay

mmaloney@herald-leader.comFebruary 19, 2014 

  • NEXT GAME

    Morehead State at Murray State

    When: 8 p.m. Saturday

  • OVC STANDINGS

    East Division

                              Conf. All

    Belmont                11-2  20-8

    Morehead State    10-3  19-9

    Eastern Kentucky  8-5  18-9

    Tennessee Tech   6-6  13-14

    Jacksonville State  4-9  10-18

    Tennessee State  2-11  3-24

    West Division

    Murray State       11-2   16-9

    SIU-Edwardsville    7-6  11-16

    Eastern Illinois      6-8   9-17

    Austin Peay           5-8  11-16

    Southeast Missouri  4-8  13-13

    UT Martin              3-9   8-19

    Wednesday's game

    Morehead St. 90, Austin Peay 88 (2OT)

    Thursday's games

    Jacksonville St. at SE Missouri, 7

    Eastern Illinois at Belmont, 7

    SIUE at Tennessee St., 7

    Tennessee Tech at UT Martin, 7

MOREHEAD — Angelo Warner was exhausted.

Coach Sean Woods told Warner his Morehead State team needed him, though, so gut it out.

Warner not only stuck around, he hit the game-winning shot with eight-tenths of a second left in double overtime Wednesday as the Eagles edged Austin Peay 90-88 in Johnson Arena.

"Coach just gave me the ball," Warner said. "We ran a set play actually, and we executed what Coach drew up. And I was blessed enough just to get to the hole and just make a great play."

With the win, Morehead (19-9, 10-3 Ohio Valley Conference) clinched a first-round bye in the OVC Tournament.

Warner played 48 minutes and led Morehead with 28 points, six assists and four steals.

As for his winning shot, a turnaround jumper in the paint, "it felt like the ugliest shot I took in my life," the 6-foot-2 junior said. "But it's just confidence."

Chad Posthumus, third nationally in rebounding with an 11.5 average, added 17 points and 18 rebounds for the Eagles. Brent Arrington scored 14 points, Luka Pajkovic had 10 and Kareem Storey had nine assists to go with three points.

Austin Peay (11-16, 5-8) was paced by Travis Betran with 24 points. Ed Dyson and Fred Garmon scored 13 each, while Chris Horton had 10.

Morehead trailed most of the game, but forced overtime when Drew Kelly converted a three-point play — his first points of the night — with 28.5 seconds left for a 71-all draw.

Peay had a chance to win at the buzzer, but Betran's three-point shot hit off the back of the iron.

Morehead never led in the first overtime, but forced a second extra session when Warner sank two free throws with 9.4 seconds left and a 77-77 tie.

Peay again had a last shot to win, but Garmon's pressured baseline shot hit the side of the backboard.

Morehead scored the first five points of the second overtime, getting a three-pointer by Warner and a slam-dunk by Posthumus.

Austin Peay didn't catch up until Will Triggs made one of two free throws with 34.8 seconds left.

Morehead called a timeout to set up a last play, which ended with Warner's game-winner.

"Either drive or kick it back to Drew, so we got what we wanted," Woods said.

Peay's Garmon got off a desperation shot from near half-court, but it came after the buzzer and was off the mark.

The Governors made eight of their first nine shots of the game to break out to a 20-13 lead.

Dyson and Garmon scored nine points each to help Peay to a 39-36 halftime lead.

Peay led most of the second half, too, and was up 63-57 with about seven minutes left.

"I wanted a sub since the 18 mark in the second half, and we didn't have a sub for me," Warner said. "Coach just said 'hey, you've got to keep going.' I was exhausted the whole time, but that's a part about me — I'm just confident, I'm hungry for more. And it's just being tougher than my opponent."

The Eagles refused to fold, tying the game at 65 on Storey's three-pointer and even taking a 68-67 lead on a Warner free throw with 2:46 left.

Peay got a bucket from Betran and two free throws by Dyson to take a three-point lead, setting up Kelly's game-tying play.

"We were playing catch-up all night long," Woods said. "That's a good basketball team ... that was well-prepared to play us tonight."

Woods added that his team came through on a sub-par night.

"Mentally, we weren't keen, we weren't very focused. ... But the good thing is we found a way to win, and we didn't play well. So that's the sign of a good team, too."

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.

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