Middle Tenn. 83, E. Kentucky 66
MURRAY, Ky. (AP) _ Robert Taylor scored 22 points and Warren Kidd had 20 points and 20 rebounds Wednesday night as Middle Tennessee beat Eastern Kentucky 83-66 in the semifinals of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.
Middle Tennessee (21-8), the tourney’s fifth seed, will play the winner of the Murray State-Morehead State game for the championship Thursday night. The winner earns the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Eastern Kentucky (19-10), the No. 2 seed, pulled to 60-56 when Kirk Greathouse hit a 3-pointer with 8:06 remaining in the game. But Mike Buck then hit a 3-pointer and Quincy Vance made two free throws to increase Middle Tennessee’s lead to 65-56.
After Eastern Kentucky’s John Allen made two free throws, Vance scored on a rebound basket and hook shot and Kidd hit a layup to make it 71-58. Eastern Kentucky, which had defeated Middle Tennessee twice during the season, could get no closer than 12 points in the final minutes.
Greathouse scored 16 points for Eastern Kentucky, while Mike Smith had 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Middle Tennessee used a 7-2 spurt to take a 34-25 lead with 3:56 left in the first half. Middle Tennessee led 36-31 at halftime.