Eagles Leave Colonels Heartbroken on Valentine’s Day, Defeating EKU

Posted at 10:51 PM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-14 23:56:34-05

James Baker Drives vs. EKU – Photo by Guy Huffman

MOREHEAD, Ky. – Well-balanced scoring and controlling the glass were the keys to success for tonight’s match-up, and the Morehead State men’s basketball Eagles executed on both fronts, defeating Eastern Kentucky 78-72 Thursday evening at Johnson Arena.

MSU logged four players in double figures, while two others came within one basket of 10 points. The Eagles won the rebounding battle, 46-39, and assisted on 15 of their 23 field goals.

The Eagles advance to 6-7 in Ohio Valley Conference action, 10-16 overall on the year. Eastern Kentucky fell back to 4-9 in league action, 11-15 on the 2018-19 slate.

“There were a few facets I thought we could tighten up on: giving up too many second-chance points and offensive rebounds,” said head coach Preston Spradlin. “But, I was pleased with the way we kept them off the line and forced them into some bad shots.”

Leading the charge for Morehead State was junior guard Jordan Walker, who paced the home squad with 18 points. With 12 more points in the next contest, Walker will join MSU men’s basketball’s 1,000-point club.

Sophomore swing-man James Baker was a jack-of-all-trades on this night, as the sophomore from Brandenburg, Ky., went for a double-double (the first of his career), chipping in 14 points and 11 rebounds, along with a career-best six blocked shots.

Bringing in nearly identical stats was senior forward Lamontray Harris, tabbing 13 points and 11 rebounds. With tonight’s effort, the four-year star from Louisville secured his ninth double-double of the season and 17th for his career.

Rounding out the Eagles in double figures was sophomore guard De’Von Cooper, pouring in 12 points.

Senior floor general A.J. Hicks surpassed doubles in assists for the third time in the 2018-19 campaign, dishing out 10 of MSU’s 15 assists.

Morehead State put forth one of their better defensive efforts on this night, holding the Colonels’ offense to a stingy 33 percent, 20 percent from behind the arc.

Eastern Kentucky was led by Nick Mayo, who led his team with 32 points and 11 rebounds.

The Eagles will look for back-to-back wins Saturday against one of the front runners in the league, Austin Peay. Tip-off is set for 4:35 p.m. ET.