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NCAA Tournament Recap (Murray St-Ohio St)

Posted: Fri March 12, 1999 at 12:31 a.m EST

INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Michael Redd scored 27 points as fourth-seeded Ohio State coasted to a 72-58 victory over 13th-seeded Murray State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in the South Region.

Redd scored 12 of his points in the first half as the Buckeyes (24-8) held a 32-21 lead after 20 minutes. Ohio State maintained the double-digit lead for nearly all of the final 20 minutes as it recorded its first NCAA Tournament victory since 1992.

"I think that when you get in the tournament, it is about survival," said Buckeyes coach Jim O'Brien. "It is just about survival and moving on. I thought we were excellent defensively. We are very happy to be moving on."

The Buckeyes, who were 8-22 last season, will play 12th-seeded Detroit in the second round Saturday.

Aubrey Reese scored 26 points for Murray State (27-6), which went 0-for-the decade in the NCAA Tournament. The Racers, who made their third straight trip into the field of 64, also lost first-round games in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1995 and are 1-11 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.

"We wanted to win some games in the tournament," said Racers coach Tevester Anderson. "I thought this year's team had a chance. I realize Ohio State is a very good defensive team but I never thought that a team out there could force us to shoot 27 percent from the field."

Murray State held a 10-7 lead on a jumper by Isaac Spencer 6:16 into the contest. But the Racers lost Spencer -- their leading scorer at 16.6 points per game -- to a back injury early in the game, and Ohio State took advantage.

A lay-in by Redd ignited a 23-5 tear as seven different players scored in the run, which was capped by John Sanderson's dunk that made it 30-15 with 2:24 left in the first half. Redd had eight points in the run.

"Issac is the guy we look to help us out when we need a basket," said Reese. "The guys that came in, they played hard. When you have a player that gets hurt like that, the rest of the team has got to step up and has got to help out."

The Racers did not pull within single digits until two free throws by Reese made it 57-48 at the 5:14 mark. But Redd countered with two free throws as Ohio State, which was last in the Big Ten in foul shooting at 61.5 percent, made 11-of-16 in the final 4:50 to preserve the victory.

Redd was 10-of-20 from the field and 7-of-12 from the line. The Buckeyes were outrebounded 53-42, but held Murray State to 27 percent (18-of-66) from the field. Jason Singleton had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds as Ohio State shot 42 percent (24-of-57) from the floor and 21-of-35 from the line.

"I have been trying to step it up to another level," said Redd. "Plus, it's tournament time and you really don't want the season to end."

The Buckeyes outscored Murray State 36-16 in the paint and had 18 points off 17 Murray State turnovers.

Spencer, who led the Racers in scoring at 16.3 points, was held to seven on 3-of-8 shooting. Murray State's starting frontcourt of Spencer, Rod Murray and Duane Virgil made a combined 7-of-27 from the field. Reese also had seven turnovers and four assists.

© 2000 Sportsticker Enterprises, LP

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