Feb. 18, 2012
CONWAY - Senior guard Kevin Murphy and junior guard Jud Dillard combined for 43 points and 16 rebounds as Tennessee Tech broke open a tight game in the second half and then hung on for a 77-71 non-conference win over Coastal Carolina Saturday afternoon in the last regular season game at Kimbel Arena.
Dillard had 18 of his points in the second half to help the Golden Eagles of the Ohio Valley Conference improved to 18-11 overall. Murphy had 12 of his 21 points after halftime, and it was his back-to-back 3-pointers early in the second period that ignited Tech. His second 3-pointer gave Tech a 41-34 lead with 16:15 remaining in the game.
Coastal fought back with an 8-0 run that made it 59-51. The Chanticleers had a chance to climb even closer, but Anthony Raffa missed the front end of a one-and-one from the free throw line and the momentum swung the other way.
This time it was Dillard who answered for the Golden Eagles. He scored on three consecutive trips down the court to boost the margin to 66-51 with six minutes left. The Chanticleers would get no closer than four points the rest of the way. The loss left Coastal at 18-9 overall heading into the last week of regular season play in the Big South.
Senior center Jon Pack led five CCU players with 15 points, and 13 of those in the second half. He also led the team with nine rebounds. Following Pack were Sam McLaurin, Chris Gradnigo and Raffa with 12 points apiece.
Coastal started strong and built a 15-point lead before cooling off and allowing Tech to rally for a 26-26 tie at the break. Murphy, the nation's 11th leading scorer at 20.4 points a game and the school's second all-time leading scorer, started slow. He didn't get his first points until less than three minutes were left in the first half.
Coastal will travel to Virginia for its final two regular season games of the year. The Chants take on the Flames of Liberty on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. followed by the regular season finale at VMI on Saturday, Feb. 25 in Lexington, Va.