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Graham Watson

Ticket punched: Morehead State's win creates special moment

The Dagger

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When the final horn sounded on the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament final, Morehead State forward Kenneth Faried leaped over his team bench and climbed the stairs into the crowd. When he finally reached a row near the middle of the section, he reached in and grabbed his baby girl, Kyra.

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He wanted her to celebrate the Eagles 80-73 win over Tennessee Tech with him on the floor.

"I wanted her to enjoy the moment with me," Faried said during a phone interview with Yahoo! Sports. "If it wasn't ‘cause of her and my mother, I probably wouldn't be dancing. They pushed me to the point that it makes me want to be better in doing the things that I do."

It was a moment Faried almost didn't have.

After last season, Faried opted to enter the NBA Draft and not hire an agent. He remembered sitting in front of the media after his team had lost the conference championship game and feeling depressed that his college career might have ended on such a low note. Right before the declaration deadline, he decided to return to school.

Good thing for Morehead State he did.

Faried has been one of the most formidable post players in the country all year. On Feb. 19, he set the NCAA all-time rebounding record and continued to add to it Saturday night with 15 rebounds to go with 24 points. He also notched his 84th career double-double, which tied Ralph Sampson for second all-time and is just three shy of Tim Duncan's all-time record.

And lucky for the basketball world, Faried will have at least one more game to inch closer to that record.

The road to the NCAA Tournament cleared Friday when Tennessee Tech upset Murray State. Murray State is the only team to beat the Eagles in the past 13 games.

Morehead State dispatched of Austin Peay easily in the semifinals and led throughout the final against Tennessee Tech. Even though things got a little interesting -- Tennessee Tech cut Morehead State's 15-point lead to as few as four points with less than 2 minutes to play.

But Morehead State kept its composure and Faried gets a chance at another special college basketball moment to spend with his little girl.

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