DAYTON, Ohio The Morehead State men's basketball Eagles saw four different players reach double figure scoring. But, the host Wright State Raiders made their living at the free throw line, resulting in the Eagles enduring a 78-67 loss Tuesday Night at the Nutter Center.
Senior Lamontray Harris led the Eagles in scoring, logging 16 points on 7-of-9 (.778) shooting. Joining in on the balanced scoring effort were senior A.J. Hicks (5-for-10, .500) and junior Jordan Walker (6-for-14, .429) with 13 points each, followed by sophomore James Baker with 10 markers on a 4-for-6 (.667) clip.
Charity stripe tosses proved to be the Achilles heel, as WSU attempted 27 free throws (nailing 22 of them), compared to MSU's 6-for-11 (.545) at the line. With tonight's defeat, the Eagles fall to 3-8 on the season.
The story of the game was a contest of runs as both squads spent a great deal of time logging unanswered masses of points against one another. The Eagles leapt out to an early 9-5 lead at the first media timeout before the Raiders burst out for a 22-5 run over the next nine minutes.
Down 27-14 at the 5:32 mark of the first half, the Eagles mounted a run of their own, beginning with a two-hand throw down by freshman wing Ja'Cori Wilson. Triples from A.J. Hicks and James Baker, along with layups from Hicks and Lamontray Harris, made the run 12-1 with 1:55 remaining in the opening period.
Raider freshman guard Skyelar Potter nailed a triple to stop the onslaught for a moment until he was answered by another trey from Baker. Hicks notched a steal and found De'Von Cooper for a lay-in with 21 ticks remaining. The Eagles ended the first half well, as they stood tall on defense before Hicks was found on an outlet pass down the right sideline and swished a half-court heave to close first half proceedings.
The Eagles' run closed at 20-4, giving them the 34-31 lead going to the halftime locker room.
Harris got the Eagles out on the right foot to begin the second half, tabbing back to back jumpers, putting MSU up seven. Wright State, however, answered back with a 7-0 run of its own as sophomore center Loudon Love rattled off seven straight points to tie the game at 38. The hosts extended their overall run to 14-4, leading 47-42 shortly after the under-16 media intermission.
In a break of the predominant game trend, the next seven minutes of play saw the two teams trade baskets back and forth, with the Raider lead fluctuating between four to eight points.
A late flurry of three-point shooting by Wright State propelled the Raiders past the Eagles, connecting on 3-of-4 (.750) from downtown in the closing minutes, compared to the Eagles' 1-for-6 (.167) from beyond the arc.
Morehead State concluded the evening outshooting Wright State from the field, 51 percent to 43 percent.
Morehead State returns home to take on IUPUI on Friday evening. Tip off will commence at 5:35 p.m. ET at Johnson Arena. That day will also feature the annual "teddy bear toss" at halftime. The first 250 fans in attendance will also receive custom Santa hits with the Eagle logo. Show your #OneTownOneTeam library card at the gate for $6 admission.