» By TRENT SINGER – firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearly a month had passed since the Govs lost a game at the Dunn Center, but following a combined 62 points from the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles’ Jud Dillard and Kevin Murphy, the Govs came up short on Thursday, Feb. 2, 94-88.
Several players proved they were prepared to take on the nation’s best scoring duo in Dillard and Murphy.
Senior center John Fraley had the best game of his collegiate career, finishing with 31 points and 17 rebounds.
Regardless of Fraley’s effort, the Govs could not muster up enough defense to slow down the Tennessee Tech offense.
Leading 36-33, the team ended the first half rather well.
They had kept Dillard and Murphy in check defensively, limiting the shooters to only 19 points.
At the beginning of the second half, Murphy made three straight three-pointers to give the Golden Eagles a 42-38 lead.
Senior center Melvin Baker played well in the losing effort, scoring 17 points and six rebounds, but more importantly, giving the Govs life with less than a minute left in the game.
Baker made a three-pointer and a dunk in the game’s final minute to cut the Golden Eagles’ lead to 90-88.
Fraley’s 31 points marks the third consecutive contest in which he scored 20 points or more.
After allowing only 33 first-half points, the Govs gave up 61 second half points in the losing effort. After the game, coach Dave Loos spoke to Sports Information about the loss.
“I thought we played pretty well the first half,” Loos said.
“They had significantly more fast-break points than us because we keep turning the ball over. Our turnovers led directly to baskets — easy baskets.”
As a team, the Govs ended the night with 19 turnovers, nine of which came in the second half.
“The point is, we’re really not giving ourselves a chance to win,” Loos said.
The Govs will need to remain focused as they prepare for this year’s toughest test on Saturday, Feb. 11, when they head to Murray and take on the undefeated Murray State Racers. TAS