NASHVILLE -- The Morehead State men’s basketball team registered season highs for field-goal shooting and three-point accuracy in a thrilling 101-100 victory over Tennessee State on Thursday evening at the Gentry Center.
Morehead State connected on 62 percent (37-of-60) from the floor and 60 percent (15-of-25) from beyond the arc before a national-television audience on ESPNU. The long balls also tied an Ohio Valley Conference season high.
The Eagles improve to 14-16 overall, 8-7 in OVC action and 4-11 on the road. The Tigers fall to 16-13 overall, 10-5 in league play and 10-2 at home. MSU also improves to 32-28 in the all-time series against TSU with a season sweep.
“I’m really proud of my guys tonight,” Head Coach Sean Woods said. “We came into a hostile environment, against a very good OVC team, and escaped with a huge win.”
Sophomore Angelo Warner paced Morehead State with 23 points on 7-of-10 from the field, 5-of-6 from the three-point line and 4-of-7 from the charity stripe.
Warner now has two 20-point efforts this season, both against Tennessee State. He tallied a career-best 24 against the Tigers on Jan. 26 at Johnson Arena.
Junior Milton Chavis (19), senior Devon Atkinson (16), junior Bakari Turner (10) and junior Bruce Reed (10) also reached double figures for the Eagles.
Junior Chad Posthumus led Morehead State with a game-high 10 rebounds, while Atkinson dished out team highs of eight assists and nabbed four steals in the win.
“Our young men continued to fight and scrap, which was great to see,” Woods said. “Our guys really battled. They pulled together and said we are not losing this one.”
Senior Kellen Thornton paced Tennessee State with a game-high 29 points on 10-of-17 overall, 4-of-6 from long distance and 5-of-9 from the foul line.
Senior Robert Covington added 23 points, eight rebounds and four steals for TSU. Junior Patrick Miller and senior Jordan Cyphers also posted 15 points each.
Morehead State was credited with 20 assists and seven steals, while Tennessee State collected 14 helpers and the same number of thefts.
The Tigers stuck around with 79 percent (30-of-38) from the free-throw line and an 18-point edge at the charity stripe. The Eagles were whistled for 29 fouls in the tilt.
“Give Tennessee State a lot of credit for the way they played,” Woods said. “They made it very difficult on us at various points in the game, but we stuck to the script.”
The Eagles led from start to finish. MSU pushed out to a big lead of 20 points with 7:24 remaining.
The tilt followed a double-overtime affair against Murray State and extra session vs. Oakland (Mich.).
Morehead State wraps up its regular season on Saturday at conference opponent Tennessee Tech. The game, which is slated for approximately 8:30 p.m. ET, will follow an MSU vs. TTU women’s game. Live video, audio and statistics will also be linked to MSUEagles.com.
The 2013 OVC Tournament is set for next week at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. Morehead State has secured the No. 5 seed and will open on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.