Lockdown Defense Helps Men's Hoops Pull Away for 76-62 Win
A lockdown defensive mindset, coupled with 61 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes, propelled Morehead State Men's Basketball to its 15th consecutive home win and fifth straight overall win in 2021-22 with a 76-62 triumph over visiting UT Martin Wednesday night.
The Eagles improved to 11-5 overall and 3-0 in the league, slipping the Skyhawks to 6-10 overall and an even 2-2 in OVC matchups. MSU has now won 13 consecutive games versus the UTM contingent in Johnson Arena since 2005.
MSU, which was held to a season-low four three-pointers at Austin Peay Saturday, lit it up from long range in the second half, hitting 6-of-8 and 10 three-balls overall. MSU also held UTM in check from long distance as the visitors managed just 5-of-24. The Eagles led 31-28 at the half but pulled away and led by as much as 23 in the final half, outscoring UTM 45-34 after the break. Morehead State also helped its defensive cause, blocking 11 shots.
Second-year center Johni Broome posted his 10th double-double of the season and 23rd of his career with game-highs of 20 points and 15 rebounds. He hit eight of 10 from the floor and also blocked five shots. Sophomore point guard Ta'Lon Cooper was another in double-figure scoring, one of four Eagles to score 10+, as he cashed in with a season-high 18 points on four three-pointers and dished out six assists.
Junior Jaylen Sebree and juniors Skyelar Potter also scored 10 apiece, while junior guard Jaylon Hall registered a career-high seven assists. Morehead State totaled 20 assists on 26 made buckets.
MSU managed to hit 53 percent (26-of-49) for the game and are now 5-0 this season when hitting 50 percent or better.
UTM's leading scorer, KJ Simon, burst onto the scene with 10 first-half points, but the Eagles held him in check with just one marker in the second. Darius Simmons finished with a team-best 12 points for UTM.
Morehead State continues OVC action Saturday at Tennessee State. Game time has been moved up to 2 p.m. ET.