The Morehead State women's basketball team had four players score in double figures, but were unable to overcome a tough night shooting as they fell 89-83 to the Saint Francis (Pa.) Red Flash on Wednesday evening at DeGol Arena.
The Eagles finished the game 31-of-90 (.344) from the floor, setting a new season-high for shot attempts but finishing with its second lowest field-goal percentage (.313 at No.3 Baylor) of the 2018-19 season.
"I didn't think we played bad offensively," said MSU head coach Greg Todd. "Credit to them they played a tough zone defense and the shots weren't falling for us."
Junior guard Aliyah Jeune paced the Morehead State offense with 23 points coming off then bench. Graduate forward Mckenzie Calvert finished with 14 points and made a season-best four shot from behind the arc. Senior guards Miranda Crockett and Crystal Simmons-Cozar rounded out the double-figure Eagles with 13 and 10 points.
Crockett has now reached double-digits scoring in Morehead State's first 12 games of the season. The Martinsville, Va., native also swiped a season-high tying seven steals, raising her career total to 201 and moving her past B.J. Bradford (1987-91) for fourth on the school's all-time steals leader board.
The Eagles led by as many as seven points in the opening quarter, pulling ahead 20-13 with 3:02 remaining before giving up a seven-point SFU run that tied the game with 36 seconds remaining in the period. Jeune then knocked down one of her two made triples just before the first quarter buzzer to give the visitors a 23-20 advantage.
The teams went back-and-forth in the second quarter, trading the lead five times, but it was the Eagles who took the 41-40 lead into the halftime break.
The Red Flash offense found its stride in the second half, making 10-of-20 shot (.500) while hitting 25-of-27 (.926) from the charity stripe.
Overall, Saint Francis made 32 free throws on 36 attempts to just 11 makes from the line in 20 attempts for Morehead State.
"We just put them on the free throw line to many times," said Todd. "When you're giving up that many more free throws it makes it tough to find a rhythm and credit to them for knocking down those free throw attempts - especially down the stretch in a close ball game."
Red Flash senior Jess Kovatch, who entered the game as the NCAA's active all-time leading scorer with 2,345 career points, led all scorers with 28 points.
Morehead State did manage to force 21 turnovers while just committing 10 of their own. The team also accumulated 18 assists, with senior guard Darianne Seward dishing out a team-high six dimes without a turnover.
Saint Francis earned its third win of the season, improving to 3-8 overall.
The road loss dropped the Eagles to 8-4 overall.
"This is a tough one but we will learn from it and move forward," said Todd. "While we always want to win, these types of games prepare us for when we get into Ohio Valley Conference play and ultimately make us better."
Morehead State will have a 10-day break for the holidays before its next game on Saturday, November 29, at home against Lipscomb. The game, which will be the Eagles last before opening OVC play, is scheduled to tip off at 12:05 p.m. ET.