CHENEY, Wash. – Senior point guard A. J. Hicks poured in a career-high 28 points, and the Morehead State men’s basketball team was on fire from three-point range Friday night en route to a 99-89 victory over Missouri-Kansas City in the 2K Empire Classic Cheney Subregional at Eastern Washington’s Reese Court.
Hicks, who already surpassed his previous career high-water mark of 21 with 23 markers at the half, propelled the Eagles to a 2-2 record now. He also added five assists.
UMKC slipped to 0-4. It marked MSU’s first-ever win over UMKC in the short four-game series, with the last meeting coming all the way back in 1992-93.
Morehead State drilled 11 triples in the opening 20 minutes and finished at 15-of-26 from outside the arc, the most three-pointers since nailing 15 at Tennessee State on Feb. 15, 2018.
Junior guard Jordan Walker also had an efficient night shooting, hitting 5-of-6 three-pointers and scoring 23 points. That’s on the back of registering 24 in his last game Saturday at Syracuse, and he also handed out a team-best six of the Eagles’ 15 dimes.
Senior forward Lamontray Harris tallied his 10th career double-double, concluding the 40-minute war with 11 points and a season-best tying 13 rebounds. The ‘Roos did manage to out-rebound the Eagles 42-33.
The Eagles blasted out of the game in the first half, using an 11-of-19 effort from beyond the arc, to push ahead 62-39 by halftime. They had to withstand a furious UMKC rally in the second half that saw the ‘Roos trim the Eagle cushion all the way to seven (86-79) with 4:40 left.
But, the Eagles got a three-pointer by Walker a minute later and never led the lead dip below 10 the remainder of the contest.
Morehead State hit 47 percent (37-of-68) for the game, while the ‘Roos hit 50 percent.
The Eagles will play the winner of the Eastern Washington- Green Bay game Saturday at either 4:05 or 6:15 p.m. ET. If the Eagles face EWU it will be the 6:15 starting slot.