NCAA Tournament: Morant leads Murray State to first round win
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The “Legend of Ja Morant” continues to grow. Murray State’s star guard had a triple double on Thursday as #12 seeded Racers beat #5 seed Marquette (24-10) 83-64 in an NCAA West Region First Round game in Hartford, Connecticut.
Morant finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 16 assists.
“I really don’t pay too much attention to the hype I just try to go out and play the same game every night and just do what I can to try to help our team come out with a win,” Morant said.
His team was dominant in the second half. A Morant three gave the Racers a 42-35 halftime lead. They opened the second half on an 11-3 run. Morant went backdoor, got a great feed from Darnell Cowart and went over and through the Golden Eagles Joey Hauser for a slam with 17:34 left.
“I felt like the defender was playing up the line and I just made a backdoor cut and my teammate, Darnell, delivered the pass and I just seen the opening and I took it,” Morant said.
Morant got plenty of help. Tevin Brown had a team-high 19 points.
“Ja deserves every bit of credit he gets and then some, but we have a very balanced team, four guys in double figures,” Murray State head coach Matt McMahon said.
“The stat, 16 assists, obviously I can’t get an assist without them making the shots and I just feel like I have great players around me and they make me look better,” Morant said.
The Racers improve to 28-4 and will face #4 seed Florida State on Saturday in Hartford. The Seminoles (28-7) beat Vermont 76-69 on Thursday.
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