Morehead surpasses last season's win total

RICHMOND, Ky. -- Junior Angelo Warner exploded for a career-high 33 points, and the Morehead State men's basketball team surpassed last year's win total with an 86-79 decision over Ohio Valley Conference rival Eastern Kentucky on Saturday afternoon at McBrayer Arena.

The Eagles, who have won eight of their last 11 tilts, improve to 16-9 overall, 7-3 in the league and 7-5 on the road. The Colonels, who have still won seven of their last nine, drop to 17-8 overall, 7-4 in the conference and 10-2 at home. MSU also snaps a three-game skid against EKU.

"Today was a terrific college basketball atmosphere, and I'm glad we came out on top," Head Coach Sean Woods said. "Our young men played really hard and stuck to the script. Outside of our turnovers, I thought we played a pretty complete game against a very good opponent."

Morehead State continues to be on pace for its first 20-win season since 2010-11. The Eagles finished that campaign 25-10 and upset fourth-seeded Louisville in the NCAA Tournament.

MSU tallied 15 total victories and just four road wins in 2012-13. The outcome marked win No. 31 for Woods, which is more than any other head coach in his first two years in Morehead.

"I'm really proud of the growth and maturity of our basketball team," Woods said. "We've had to deal with several injuries this season, but our young men continue to find ways to win. They are resilient and played with a lot of poise today in a tough OVC road environment."

Warner, in his 89th contest at Morehead State, reached double figures for the 52nd time and the 20-point plateau for the 10th time. He connected on 10-of-15 from the floor, 3-of-6 from three-point range, made all 10 of his free-throw attempts and pulled down three rebounds.

"Angelo is one of the toughest players I've ever coached, both mentally and physically," Woods said. "He gets beat up during the course of a game, but continues to fight and claw to help us win games. He's all about winning, but also picked a pretty good day for his career high."

Morehead State, which leads the OVC in total rebounds, offensive boards and rebounding margin, posted a 34-20 advantage on the glass. The Eagles have only been outrebounded once in 2013-14.

Morehead State knocked down 58 percent (28-of-48) from the floor, including 42 percent (5-of-12) from three-point range. The Eagles also converted 81 percent (25-of-31) from the free-throw stripe.

Freshman Greg Dotson recorded a career-best 14 points for MSU, while senior Drew Kelly added 10. Senior Chad Posthumus yanked down a game-high 13 rebounds off the bench, while sophomore Brent Arrington and junior Kareem Storey were credited with four assists apiece.

"Greg is doing some nice things for us as a true freshman," Woods said. "He's taken advantage of more minutes in conference play and really helped us on the floor today. We had contributions up and down our line-up, which is what it takes to win a tough OVC game on the road."

Morehead State turned in a 46-36 edge in paint points to offset Eastern Kentucky's 21-10 advantage in points off turnovers. The Eagles committed 16 turnovers, while forcing just eight.

Senior Glenn Cosey paced five Colonels in double figures with 18 points on 9-of-11 from the free-throw line. EKU drilled 46 percent (25-of-54) overall and 69 percent (22-of-32) from the foul line.

MSU led by one at intermission and opened up its biggest lead of 13 with 4:25 to play. The contest featured 12 lead changes and seven ties. EKU's last lead came at 16:42 of the second half.

The contest was shown live on ESPNU. It was Morehead State's fifth nationally-televised game of the season. The Eagles can add to that total by making the semifinals of the OVC Tournament.

"Hats off to our fans who made the trip (from Morehead to Richmond) today," Woods added. "There were a lot of them and they were loud during the game. I'm not sure we win today's contest without their support. All of us appreciate what they did for us today."

Morehead State continues its three-game conference road trip on Thursday at Jacksonville State. The Eagles will then wrap up the weekend at Tennessee Tech.

MSU's final three home games are Feb. 19 vs. Austin Peay, Feb. 27 against Tennessee State and March 1 vs. Tennessee Tech. The season finale will be Senior Night.

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