Sports

Morehead St. going to NCAAs after 2 OTs

NASHVILLE — It came from nowhere, shot clock nearing zero, Brandon Shingles launching a missile of a pass, Kenneth Faried going airborne, making the catch and slamming it through. Morehead takes the lead.

At the other end, following a couple of timeouts, Austin Peay's Wes Channels speeds into Faried in the paint, hoping for a foul but losing the ball. Teammate Caleb Brown picks it up and hits a short jumper at the buzzer.

The first overtime, ho hum after the end of regulation, ended in another tie.

The second overtime decided the championship of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament — and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Morehead won, 67-65.

Reserve Steve Peterson got a pass and hit a short baseline jumper with 1.4 seconds left for a thrilling victory.

Peterson, a freshman, had taken the place of starter Demonte Harper, who fouled out with three seconds left in overtime. The game-winner was Peterson's only basket of the game.

Afterward, Peterson said the Eagles had set up the play for Maze Stallworth, but Shingles dished it to him.

"I made a head fake and knocked it down. It was about 15 feet," Peterson said.

"I'm happier than I've ever been."

Austin Peay was unable to get off a long three-pointer before the buzzer.

The finish will send the Eagles to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1984.

It took a comeback and plenty of thrills against a veteran coach, Dave Loos, who has three OVC tourney titles for the Govs.

But Donnie Tyndall was equal to the task in his third year as Morehead's coach.

"It's exhilarating," he said. "Working 16-17 hours a day, seven days a week, three years. It's unbelievable. ... beyond words."

Morehead lacked its usually successful long-range game, and Faried didn't quite leap out of the Sommet Center. But the Eagles met every challenge down the stretch after trailing for most of the game.

After five lead changes in the first six minutes of action, the Governors began to assert control.

A driving layup by Drake Reed at 13:36 put Peay on top for the rest of the half. The Govs were effective in the paint and finding the open shooter. Channels and Reed were the primary beneficiaries with eight points each at intermission.

Austin Peay was just as effective at the defensive end.

Maze Stallworth, who blistered Peay during the regular season, was 1-for-5 from the field. Morehead shot 31.8 percent and was limited to seven shots behind the arc, making two.

MSU center Faried wasn't the dominating factor he had been during the season and in the tournament, but he turned it up in the second half and finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

When the game ended, Faried sought out his mother for a hug.

"I was excited she was here," he said. "She's been real sick and not been down here (from New Jersey). She said, 'If you make it to Nashville, I'll come.'"

Austin Peay tried to pull away early in the second half, taking an 11-point lead (42-31) in the first six minutes.

Then Morehead caught fire.

The Eagles went on an 11-0 run to close within 44-42 midway through the half.

After a three-minute scoreless spell, Faried hit a long jump. Harper scored the last six on three long jumpers.

Channels drained a three-pointer, and Duncan scored a layup.

Shingles flipped in a layup for Morehead, and the game was scoreless for a couple of minutes until Stallworth made two free throws to get MSU within 49-46.

The lead was 51-48 when Brown slipped through the MSU defense and drove the lane for a layup.

After a three-point play by Faried, Reed scored on a reverse layup.

Stallworth and Faried were successful on one-and-bonus free throws to tie the score with 2:17 left.

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