Despite a career-high 23 points from freshman Tyzhaun Claude, Morehead State men's basketball couldn't find a rhythm shooting from three-point range as the Eagles fell to rival Eastern Kentucky 78-71 Thursday night at Johnson Arena.
Morehead State, which hit just 3-of-25 from outside the arc, slipped to 12-14 overall and 6-7 in the OVC. The Colonels are now 13-13 overall and 10-3 in the league.
Claude stuffed the stat sheet to the tune of 23 points, six rebounds, a block and a steal in just 29 minutes, The 6-9 North Carolina native was 11-of-14 from the floor.
The Eagles also got 16 points from junior Juice Thomas, two short of his career high, and senior guard Djimon Henson. Henson has scored double figures in 12 of his last 16 games now.
Jomaru Brown led the visitors with 19 points and nine assists.
-Freshman forward Julius Dixon scored a bucket with 13:27 left in the first half that catapulted MSU to a 19-10 lead, its largest of the game.
-EKU used a 15-5 run, however, to pull ahead 25-24 with 9:07 left in the half after Lachlan Anderson's triple.
- MSU's last advantage was 26-25 with 8:21 left in the opening half following senior guard Jordan Walker's free throw.
- EKU pulled ahead 56-47 at the 10:34 mark of the final half.
- An 8-0 Eagle run, capped by Henson's three-ball at 9:11, had his team within striking distance, down only 56-54.
- Thomas' layup at 5:33 pulled MSU back to within two again (63-61), but the Colonels' Brown drained a three-pointer on their next possession as EKU eventually built its advantage back up to 10.
- Besides it troubles hitting three-pointers, the Eagles were also 12-of-20 on free throws.
- MSU out-rebounded EKU 37-32 as Claude, Thomas and Walker led with six each.
- Thomas, the OVC leader in steals, swiped four more tonight and now has 57 for the season.
- Morehead State once again had only nine turnovers, the eighth time this season with less than 10 mistakes. MSU leads the OVC in fewest turnovers per game.
- The Eagles notched 48 of the 71 points in the paint.
QUOTING COACH SPRADLIN
"It's a hard game when you are struggling to make shots. We were fantastic like we've been all year in the paint. It's just very difficult to overcome. Not seeing that ball go in affects guys, and then its difficult to get stops at the other end."
"Tyzhaun was terrific tonight again. He keeps showing again and again how special of a player he is going to be. I also wanted to commend Julius. He gave us 10 great, hard minutes and we needed that as we were shorthanded tonight. He had four points and four rebounds and did not turn the ball over."