MOREHEAD, Ky. — The Murray State men’s basketball team knocked down 58 percent from the field in the second half en route to 51 percent for the night and posted a 66-57 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Morehead State on Saturday evening at Johnson Arena.
The Racers connected on 46 percent (11-of-24) from the floor in the first half. Murray State then drilled 11-of-19 after intermission on its way to 22-of-43 for the contest. The Racers have now knocked down at least 50 percent from the field in eight straight games (all wins).
Murray State improves to 11-4 overall and 4-1 on the road with its ninth consecutive win. Morehead State slips to 5-11 overall and 2-4 at home with its seventh setback in the last eight contests. The West Division Racers also pick up their fifth straight win in the series.
“Murray State is a very good team, and you have to give them credit,” Head Coach Sean Woods said. “We had our chances tonight, but made too many mistakes down the stretch. Our guards are the strength of this team, but we need those individuals to be more solid.”
Junior Jeffery Moss led Murray State with a game-high 23 points, while sophomore Cameron Payne and senior Jarvis Williams tallied 12 apiece. Williams also managed team highs of eight rebounds and three blocks, while Payne dished out a game-best seven assists.
Junior Brent Arrington paced Morehead State with 15 points, while seniors Angelo Warner and Karam Mashour added 11 each. Senior Billy Reader yanked down a game-high 10 rebounds, including seven offensive. No Eagle had more than three assists or two steals.
Murray State led for more than 38 minutes, but its largest lead was just 11 points with 7:12 remaining. Morehead State’s only advantage came in the first two minutes. The Eagles posted a 24-5 scoring advantage off the bench, but their starters came up with just 33 markers.
Morehead State cut the deficit to three with 4:52 to play, but Murray State closed out on a 13-7 run.
The Eagles registered a 37-30 rebounding advantage, including 18-8 on the offensive end. The home team made one more three (but needed 10 more attempts) and each squad was successful on 18 free-throw attempts (with Murray State shooting three more times).
The contest was the OVC opener for both teams.
Morehead State continues league action on Thursday at Southeast Missouri and Saturday at UT Martin. Both contests will be carried by the OVC Digital Network (video streaming) and Eagle Sports Network (radio). Check MSUEagles.com for more on the road trip.
“There are some things we need to tighten up, and we will continue to work on those areas,” Woods said. “Our team needs some confidence right now. It’s a long OVC season, and we need to get back on track this coming week at Southeast Missouri and UT Martin.”