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Heroic Comeback Effort Falls Short, Men's Hoops Set back by Austin Peay - The Trail Blazer: News

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Heroic Comeback Effort Falls Short, Men's Hoops Set back by Austin Peay

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Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2019 10:08 pm

MOREHEAD, Ky. – The Morehead State men's basketball Eagles gained a double-digit lead, saw it evaporate, and fought to gain the lead in the closing minutes. However, the Eagles fell one play short of a victory, as Austin Peay defeated MSU, 73-70, Saturday afternoon at Johnson Arena.

The Eagles led by as many 10 in the opening frame, holding a 25-15 lead after a thunderous jam from De'Von Cooper brought the crowd to its feet. The Governors closed the stanza on an 18-7 run to take the lead at the halftime intermission, 33-32.

As the second half started, the visitor's lead swelled to 15, as APSU went on another run, this time outscoring the Eagles 17-3 over the next four minutes. The MSU deficit fluctuated between nine and 14 points until the 8:37 stamp, at which point Morehead State was trailing 62-49.

Over the next four minutes, the Eagles hit their stride, scoring 14 unanswered points to regain the lead 63-62 with 4:26 remaining. The two teams traded buckets back and forth after the final media intermission. MSU found itself down three with just as many ticks left. A desperation heave from half-court at the horn just missed its mark.

"I was proud of our effort throughout," said head coach Preston Spradlin. "I give Austin Peay credit; they're one of the top three teams in our league for a reason. They're very well-coached and don't get rattled easily. So, to be able to put ourselves in a position to win after taking some hits says a lot about how our mentality has improved since the start of the year. We just have to get these kinds of games to materialize into wins more consistently."

Etching his name into the lore of Morehead State basketball was junior guard Jordan Walker. The Indianapolis native led his team with 26 points on 9-of-13 (.692) shooting total, 4-of-7 (.571) from long range. His trey at the 11:04 mark pushed the sharpshooter into the 1,000-point club, becoming the 34thplayer to achieve this milestone.

Senior forward Lamontray Harris tallied a double-double for the second contest in a row, matching his totals from Thursday's contest with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Harris earned his 10th double-double of the 2018-19 slate, numbering 18 total now for his career.

Rounding out Eagles in double figure scoring was sophomore wing James Baker, who chipped in 11 points on 5-of-9 (.555) shooting. He also blocked five shots and has 11 now in the last two games.                                                                                            

The Eagles finished the tilt with 11 blocked shots and held Austin Peay to 39 percent shooting, winning the shooting battle by nailing 46 percent of their attempts.

The visiting Govs were led by sophomore forward Terry Taylor, who poured in 42 points on 15-of-28 shooting, hitting 5-of-9 behind the arc, to go along with 18 rebounds. The Bowling Green native's scoring and rebounding efforts are both the most by any player in the Ohio Valley Conference during league action. 

Morehead State will have to become road warriors to keep its leverage in the playoff standings, with three of the final four regular season contests being away from Johnson Arena. The next game will take place on Thursday against Jacksonville State. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET from the Pete Mathews Coliseum in Jacksonville, Ala.