Baker Helps Cook Up a Road Victory for Men's Hoops at Tennessee Tech
Sophomore forward James Baker scored a career-high 20 points and had four blocked shots, while senior Lamontray Harris totaled nine points and seven rebounds in a second-half comeback as Morehead State men's basketball secured a 66-63 win at Tennessee Tech Saturday.
The Eagles improved to 7-9 in the Ohio Valley Conference and 11-18 overall. With Eastern Illinois' loss at Tennessee State tonight, MSU moves into a tie for fifth place in the OVC race with a tiebreaker over EIU. Tech slid to 3-13 in the league and 7-22 overall. It also marked a season sweep over the Golden Eagles.
"You take a road win any way you can get it," said head coach Preston Spradlin. "In the first half, we didn't guard, but we came out in the second half with a sense of urgency. James Baker was unbelievable. That's who James is right there. He played awesome. Lamontray made big, big plays for us down the stretch. He went and took rebounds away from the other guys on the floor."
Harris had 15 points overall and secured all of his rebounds in the second half when his team outscored Tech 36-26. He hit four free throws in the final 13 seconds, including what proved to be the winning margin free toss with just four ticks left.
Meanwhile Baker was nearly unstoppable. He hit for 11 points in the first half and added nine in the second on 9-of-12 shooting from the floor.
"Our guys did an unbelievable job of fighting and scrapping," Spradlin added. "Tennessee Tech is much better than a 7-22 team, so I give them credit. They gave us a great fight. We have a lot to learn from a game like this for postseason."
After trailing 37-30 at halftime, the Eagles opened the second stanza on a 7-0 run to tie and eventual made it a 12-2 run to lead 42-39. Neither team then led by more than three until the final minute.
Junior guard Jordan Walker added 12 points for his 13th straight double figure effort and for the 20th time in the last 21 games. Senior A.J. Hicks had three assists to give him 163 helpers this year. That total is now the fifth best single-season assist performance in program history.
Morehead State will honor Harris and Hicks prior to Thursday's game with Murray State. Tip-off will be at 7:35 p.m. following the women's game. Then the regular season concludes next Saturday at Eastern Kentucky.