Tennessee State sinks Morehead at the buzzer

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Senior Patrick Miller knocked down a three-pointer with 2.4 seconds left to lift the Tennessee State men's basketball team to a 70-68 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Morehead State on Thursday evening at Johnson Arena.

Miller, the league's leading scorer, finished with a career-high 38 points on 12-of-19 from the field, 4-of-5 from three-point range and 10-of-11 from the free-throw line. The Tigers improve to 5-24 overall, 4-11 in the league and 2-12 on the road.

"Give credit to Tennessee State," Head Coach Sean Woods said. "(Patrick) Miller is a terrific player. He's going to be a pro some day. He's certainly one of the best players in our league and showed it both times we faced him this season."

The Eagles slip to 19-11 overall, 10-5 in the OVC and 9-4 at home. The squads end up splitting the regular-season series after Morehead State scored an overtime win on Jan. 25 in Nashville. MSU continues to hold a 33-30 edge in the all-time series.

Morehead State, which trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half, rallied back to tie the game at 67 on a pair of free throws from junior Angelo Warner with 19 seconds left.

Tennessee State then called a timeout with seven ticks remaining, but had no stoppages remaining. Warner hit one of two technical free throws before Miller drained the game-winner.

Warner finished with a team-best 19 points on 12-of-13 from the foul line. Senior Drew Kelly added 15 for the Eagles, while classmate Chad Posthumus notched all 10 of his rebounds after intermission.

Warner now owns 27 double-figure scoring performances this season and 56 in his career. Posthumus is up to 20 double-figure rebounding efforts this year and 26 at Morehead State.

Junior M.J. Rhett, who tallied 12 points, was the only other Tiger in double figures. Tennessee State forced 17 turnovers en route to advantages of 27-9 in points off miscues and 10-2 on the fast break.

"I'm disappointed with the way we played," Woods said. "We need to do a better job overall. We turned the ball over too many times and didn't do a very good job against TSU's zone. We also missed free throws down the stretch."

Morehead State busted out to a 16-4 upper hand just seven minutes into the contest, but Tennessee State answered with a 16-3 spurt to take its first lead with six minutes left in the first half.

The affair went back-and-forth for the remainder of the first period, and the Tigers led by three at intermission. TSU pushed out to 14-point lead with 10:18 remaining before MSU made its late run.

Morehead State posted a 37-24 rebounding advantage, but committed 28 fouls. The Eagles were whistled for 18 infractions before the break, which led to 18 free-throw attempts for the guests.

"We fouled too many times and had combinations on the floor that we normally don't have," Woods added. "It's tough to get in a rhythm when your regulars are sitting on the bench. We just never got the momentum we needed."

Morehead State (19-11, 10-5) closes out the regular-season slate on Saturday against Tennessee Tech (15-15, 8-7) before heading to Nashville for the OVC Tournament. Tip-off is set for approximately 7:30 p.m. ET. Kelly and Posthumus will be honored prior to the game as part of Senior Night.

A Morehead State win and Eastern Kentucky (20-9, 10-5) loss gives MSU the No. 3 seed. Any other combination and the Eagles are the No. 4 seed. The No. 4 opens on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. The No. 3 begins play on Thursday at approximately 9 p.m. ET. All games will be played at Municipal Auditorium.

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