Morehead St. Looks for a Season Sweep Over TSU Thursday at Home
Posted at 5:54 PM, Feb 05, 2019
and last updated2019-02-05 17:54:43-05
MOREHEAD, Ky. — Morehead State’s men’s basketball team will attempt a season sweep of Tennessee State when the Tigers visit Johnson Arena Thursday evening. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. ET following the women’s game.
The Eagles (9-14/5-5 OVC) are coming off what head coach Preston Spradlin deemed the program’s “most important win this season,” an 84-78 victory at Eastern Illinois, Saturday. The Eagles are currently in the sixth spot in the OVC standings heading into the latter half of the conference schedule. Morehead State is also 6-2 at home this season.
Tennessee State (7-15/4-6 OVC) heads into the weekend with a two-game winning streak. The Tigers are 2-10 away from Nashville.
The game will be on ESPN+ and on WIVY-96.3 FM.
THE SERIES WITH THE TIGERS
Morehead State leads the series with Tennessee State 38-33, including a 74-61 win at TSU on Jan. 12 of this year. The inaugural game in the series was in 1980-81. Morehead State has won three of the last four meetings here in Johnson Arena.
During last Saturday’s win at Eastern Illinois, senior forward Lamontray Harris became the 33rd member of the 1,000 career point club at Morehead State. Harris scored 12 in the game and enters play this week with 1,001 career points. He is one of five active players in the OVC in the 1,000 point club.
TRENDS AND TIDBITS
Jordan Walker has reached double-figures in points in 14 of the last 15 games … Walker has scored 20 or more points in a game now nine times this season … Walker is 29-of-32 (.906) from the free throw line in the last five games … Morehead State’s win at Eastern Illinois was just the fifth time since 1981-82 that the Eagles have won at EIU … Sophomore forward James Baker has scored in double figures in four of the last six games, including a career-high 15 at Eastern Illinois … Baker has at least one blocked shot in seven consecutive games now … All 12 of the Eagles’ successful free throws at EIU were hit in the final 42 seconds … Sophomore guard De’Von Cooper has scored 14 points in consecutive games and now scored in double digits in six of the previous eight games.
3-POINT STREAK CONTINUES ON
Morehead State has hit at least one three-pointer in 395 consecutive games, dating back to 2007 when the Eagles were held without a made one from beyond the arc against Jacksonville State.
MAKING THEM MAKE THE MISTAKES
In games against conference competition, Morehead State ranks second among the 12 teams in turnover margin at plus-2.4. The Eagles also rank first in the OVC in fewest mistakes per game against league foes at just 11.9. Overall, the Eagles have committed fewer turnovers in 15 of the 23 games.
Lamontray Harris now has eight double-doubles this season, ranking third in the OVC in that category behind Murray State’s Ja Morant and Jacksonville State’s Jason Burnell. Harris also now has 16 career double-doubles.
A.J. Hicks has dished out at least one assist in all 52 games of his two-year career. Hicks ranks third in the OVC with 128 total assists (5.6 per game) and ranks fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio. He also boasts 12 games with at least six assists. With 12 more helpers, Hicks would move onto the top 10 list for assists in a season at Morehead State.
BAKER COOKING UP SUCCESS
Sophomore James Baker had arguably his best career game at Eastern Illinois. The 6-6 forward scored a career-best 15 points on 3-of-3 shooting from behind the arc. His three-pointer with 1:02 remaining gave the Eagles the lead for good. Baker also leads MSU with 25 blocked shots this season.
CLUTCH AT THE LINE
Morehead State made 12 free throws at Eastern Illinois in the second half on 14 attempts. What’s amazing is all 12 came in the final 42 seconds. Jordan Walker was 4-of-4 in that span.
Morehead State was just 1-11 prior to last Saturday when the Eagles found themselves trailing at the half. The Eagles were also just 1-12 when trailing when the second-half clock reached five minutes. Both of those fortunes were erased though as the Eagles won after trailing at the break and claimed the win despite trailing by five with five minutes left.
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