Coming back from nine down with four minutes to play, Morehead State men's basketball took Tennessee State to overtime Wednesday night in the first round of the OVC Tournament, but the Eagles eventually succumbed to the Tigers 74-67 at the Ford Center.
The Eagles saw their 2019-20 campaign close at 13-19, and it marked the finale for seniors Jordan Walker and Djimon Henson. Walker finished his career ranked No. 11 in career scoring at MSU with 1,478 points. Henson scored seven tonight and concluded with 849 career points.
It was a pair of freshman, though, who led the Eagles. Guard Ta'lon Cooper netted a game-high 18 points, including 7-for-7 free throws. Forward Tyzhaun Claude scored 11 and nearly missed his fourth double-double with nine rebounds.
- Mark Freeman's three-pointer with 4:03 left in regulation gave TSU a 54-46 edge.
- Cooper drained a triple with 3:37 that opened a 13-4 run to end regulation.
- Two free throws by Walker at 1:14 pushed MSU back ahead 56-55.
- Junior forward James Baker's jumper in the lane moved MSU back ahead 58-57 with 35 ticks left before Claude came up with a steal and was fouled with 13 seconds left. He hit one of two free tosses.
- TSU's Carlos Marshall sank the game-tying bucket with 1.1 left showing on the clock.
- TSU scored the first four in the OT period, and MSU was not able to ever regain the lead.
- The Eagles out-rebounded the Tigers 42-37.
- TSU nailed 20 of its 22 free throws compared to just 25 of 38 for the Eagles.
- MSU also was hampered by hitting only four of 27 three pointers.
- Sophomore forward LJ Bryan had eight points and seven rebounds - all in the first half - when MSU ended up trailing 28-23.
QUOTING COACH SPRADLIN
"We were excited to be here. I thought we had belief coming and I felt like we carried that belief throughout the game. We got down by nine points there late in the second half. That had to do with individuals stepping up and making plays to have a chance to extend their season. I am really proud of our guys because of their fight. I thought we definitely played hard enough to win that game."
"It is hard to see Jordan and Djimon go, but I fully know that those two made our program better as players and leaders. They will make great husbands, fathers and mentors."