Tennessee State tops Morehead State 59-52 in OVC

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Robert Covington scored 14 points and Tennessee State held off Morehead State 59-52 Friday night in the semifinals of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament to post its first 20-win season since 1978-79.

The second-seeded Tigers (20-11), who are enjoying their first winning campaign in 16 years, snapped a four-game skid in postseason play. They will face top seed and No. 12-ranked Murray State, which beat them 80-62 on Feb. 23, in Saturday's final.

Tennessee State led by 11 in the first half and 26-21 at intermission. Ty Proffitt opened the second half with two 3-pointers to give the third-seeded Eagles their first lead at 27-26.

The Tigers regained the advantage, building a five-point cushion. Morehead State (18-15) trimmed the deficit to two on three occasions, the last at 44-42 with 6:30 left, before Tennessee State pulled away.

Marsell Holden's 11 points led the Eagles, who ended their three-game winning streak.