EVANSVILLE, Ind. - The No. 2 seed Morehead State women's basketball team led by as many as 14 points in the first half but were unable to maintain their advantage as they fell to No. 3 seeded UT Martin 68-58 in the semifinal round of the 2019 Ohio Valley Conference Championship Tournament at the Ford Center.
Morehead State made two more shots from the field than the Skyhawks - MSU went 22-of-62 (.355) and UTM went 20-of-56 (.357) - but the free throw striped proved to the difference maker as the victors converted on 23-of-24 from the line while the Eagles hit on 6-of-8 freebies.
"I was pleased with our effort," said MSU head coach Greg Todd. "I thought we played hard but credit to them for continuing to battle after we had a nice run on the first quarter. UT Martin is a pretty good team that attacked us and knocked down their free throws to get the win."
The Eagles built a 23-12 lead after a first quarter that saw senior guard Darianne Seward and junior guard Aliyah Jeune both knock down two triples. The lead was stretched to 14 points with 8:21 remaining in the second quarter when Seward found senior Crystal Simmons-Cozar on a fast break for three points to make the spread 28-14
Following the Simmons-Cozar triple, the UT Martin defense clamped down on MSU and held them to just seven points while cutting the deficit to 32-25 at the half.
Morehead State made just 4-of-16 (.250) shots in the second quarter and had its shooting woes continue into the second half as they made just 9-of-30 (.30) over the final 20 minutes while UT Martin nailed 16-of-17 free throws in the second half.
Senior Miranda Crockett led the Eagles in scoring with 16 points and extended her double-figure scoring streak to 37 consecutive games. Crockett, a 5-foot-8 guard from Martinsville, Va., surpassed Chynna Bozeman for first in all-time games played in today's game as well. Crockett has played in 126 games and started in 125 of those.
Graduate transfer McKenzie Calvert seconded Crockett with 15 points while also dishing out a game-best six assists. Seward finished with 12 points and knocked down three triples.
Emanye Robertson led the Skyhawks with 26 points and was a perfect 14-of-14 from the free throw line. UTM forward Maddie Waldrop recorded a double-double in the game with 10 points and a game-best 12 rebounds.
UT Martin improves to 23-8 overall and will take on Belmont Saturday in the OVC Tournament Championship.
Morehead State falls to 23-10 overall and now awaits to see if they will receive a bid to the 2019 Women's NIT. The Eagles last and only berth in the WNIT came in 2017 when the team finished 21-10