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Morehead freebies finish off Skyhawks

Morehead freebies finish off Skyhawks
MOREHEAD, Ky. — Three Morehead State players combined to go five-for-six from the free throw line in the last two minutes, and the UT Martin offense was held scoreless for the last 2:36 in a tough 80-71 loss tonight at Ellis T. Johnson Arena.
Senior guard Lester Hudson led all scorers with 24 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds to lead UTM, which also had Union City High School product Marquis Weddle and Benzor Simmons in double figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Simmons also grabbed a career-high eight rebounds and Eric Massey contributed with seven points and seven rebounds for the Skyhawks, who fall to 2-4 on the season.
Djero Riedewald (five points), Delrico Lane (four), Reuben Clayton (four) and Andres Irarrazabal (two) completed the scoring for the Skyhawks, who shot 37 percent from the floor for the game and 21 percent from beyond three-point range.
Former UCHS standout MJ Brown was 0-for-4 (0-for-3 from beyond the arc) during the defeat.
Both teams shot 28 free throws and committed 17 turnovers, and the latter was a cause for concern for UT Martin head coach Bret Campbell.
“Tonight where we lost was committing 12 turnovers in the first half, 10 of which were unforced,” Campbell said. “We also gave up 21 offensive rebounds and when you combine that with our poor shooting, you can’t win like that on the road.”
Morehead State had four players reach double figures, led by Demonte Harper’s 22 points. Leon Buchanan finished the night with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Maze Stallworth scored 13 points. Kenneth Faried posted a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 13 rebounds for the Eagles.
After Buchanan scored the first four points for the Eagles, Weddle answered with a jumper with his foot on the three-point line to cut the Morehead State lead to 4-3.
Morehead State then pushed their lead out to four points twice before a put-back by Massey ignited a 6-0 run for the Skyhawks that included a jumper by Hudson and two free throws by Riedewald to put UT Martin on top 11-9 heading into the first media timeout with 15:36 left in the first half.
The next four minutes featured sound defensive play from both squads.
Terrance Hill scored on a jumper to tie the game at 11 at the 14:57 mark, but that was the only scoring that occurred for the next 2:38.
Hudson hit a jumper from 18 feet out after a strong Skyhawk defensive stand forced Hill to put up a 40 foot shot as the shot clock ran down.
Clayton collected his first points of the 2008 season with a pair of free throws at the 11:03 mark, and a forced turnover led to a thunderous follow-up dunk by Hudson off a missed layup. A technical foul was assessed on Hudson for slapping the backboard after the play, leading to a 5-0 Morehead State run, taking an 18-17 lead on a Stallworth trey.
UT Martin came right back 27 seconds later to take the lead, as Simmons converted on a three-point play off a fast break. Another UTM defensive stand led to a deep Hudson three-pointer to make the score 23-18 in the Skyhawks’ favor.
After a technical foul was given to the Morehead State bench, and Weddle stroked both free throws to give UT Martin their biggest first half lead with 8:45 left at 25-18.
The Eagles then went on a 9-0 run, capitalizing on back-to-back UT Martin turnovers to take the lead on a Robert Murry three-pointer at the 6:15 mark, causing Campbell to call a quick timeout to get the Skyhawks regrouped.
After the timeout, the Skyhawks went on a 7-0 run over the next 3:29 to go on top 32-27.
After a Stallworth bucket and a foul, Weddle came back on the next possession and drilled a long three-pointer to extend UT Martin’s lead back out to five with 2:02 left in the first half.
But Morehead State went on a 5-0 run to end the half, capped off by a Hill three-pointer with 17 seconds left to send both teams into the half deadlocked at 35-all.
Morehead State came out hot to begin the second half, hitting two three-pointers and a mid-range jumper on three of their first four possessions. Hudson answered with a four-point play to cut the Eagle lead to two with 17:24 left.
After the Eagles hit four consecutive free throws, the teams swapped baskets until Hudson scored again off a steal to make the score 47-45 in Morehead State’s favor.
Morehead State then went on a 9-2 run.
The Skyhawks will look to regroup quickly, as they face the back leg of the Death Valley trip on Saturday against Eastern Kentucky, which is also 0-1 in the conference after falling to Murray State tonight, 58-50. Tip-off from McBrayer Arena is set for 6 p.m.

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