Morehead State's basketball program had only won six times ever at Eastern Illinois' Lantz Arena, and the largest margin of victory was only eight. Thursday night, the current Eagles shattered that figure by knocking off the Panthers 87-61 for MSU's fourth consecutive win to stay perfect (4-0) in the New Year.
The 26-point triumph also tied for the largest margin of victory in a conference game in head coach Preston Spradlin's tenure. His Eagles defeated Eastern Kentucky 80-54 in 2016-17, during his interim head coach season. Morehead State improved to 8-6 overall and 5-2 in the conference, while the Panthers dipped to 5-7 and 2-3 in the league.
Freshman forward Johni Broome was nearly unstoppable in the paint, scoring a game-high 20 points (on 9-of-11 shooting) while also grabbing nine rebounds. Broome is the first freshman since Ricky Minard in 2000-01 to score 20+ points in at least three games in his inaugural collegiate season. He led five Eagles in double figure scoring as senior James Baker (season-high 15), junior guard DeVon Cooper (14), junior guard Skylar Potter (10) and junior guard KJ Hunt, Jr., also contributed 10 or more.
Of note as well, Morehead State (which leads the OVC in scoring defense) held EIU senior guard Mack Smith to 0-for-10 from three-point range, ending his NCAA record streak of 91 consecutive games making at least one triple.
Morehead State travels to Southeast Missouri for a 5 p.m. ET game Saturday. The contest replaces a postponement at SIUE and also replaces the game that was to be played at SEMO later on Feb. 19.