Eagles Hand TTU Their First Home Loss of the Season, 69-59
Senior forward Lyonell Gaines led the way with a season-high 15 points as Morehead State men's basketball handed Tennessee Tech their first home loss of the season with a 69-59 victory on Thursday night.
With the win, the Eagles extended their winning streak to a season-high five games and improved their record to 17-11 overall and 10-5 in the OVC. TTU falls to 18-10 and 10-5 in league play.
The Eagles jumped out early to a 20-7 lead courtesy of a 15-foot jumper by DeJuan Marrero. But, TTU responded by knocking down 10 of 11 free throws en route to a 21-4 run that gave the Golden Eagles a 28-24 lead with 6:31 to go in the half.
Morehead State then clamped down defensively and limited Tech to just three points the rest of the half and closed with a 13-3 run to give them a 37-31 halftime lead.
Morehead State would not relinquish the lead as Gaines helped engineer a 13-6 run to start the second half to open a 50-37 lead.
The Golden Eagles managed to trim the lead to four at 63-59 with 2:33 to go, but Morehead State scored the last six points of the game to seal the victory.
The Morehead State defense held TTU to 35 percent shooting and to just 59 points, their second lowest point total of the season. MSU barely won the rebounding battle, 41-38, but outscored the Golden Eagles in the paint, 40-16. The Eagles finished with 16 offensive rebounds and 17 second chance points.
Gaines knocked down his first seven shots and finished 7-of-8 from the floor. He finished with a team-high 15 points, which eclipsed his previous high of the season, 12 points at Indiana. He also led the Eagles in rebounds with eight, which also set a season-high.
Senior guard Brent Arrington added 12 points, seven assists, five rebounds, while senior forward Anthony Elechi had 11 points and six rebounds despite playing just 18 minutes due to foul trouble. Marrero had 10 points and four rebounds in just 15 minutes.
Torrance Rowe led TTU with 21 points, but was limited to just 5-of-21 shooting. He was 9-of-9 from the free throw line.
The Eagles wrap regular season play on Saturday afternoon at Jacksonville State. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. ET.