MOREHEAD The Morehead State men's basketball team might be feeling a little defensive today. They love it.

The Eagles won their 10th straight game Thursday by dispatching Murray State, 66-56, at Johnson Arena on Johni Broome's 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.

“It means a lot,” MSU junior DeVon Cooper said. “With this being my fourth year as a redshirt junior, these team wins mean a lot. The culture is changing here at Morehead.”

What maybe was better: the Eagles (14-6, 11-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference) held the Racers to their lowest point total this season.

“Our defense is one of the main things we work on,” Cooper said.

Morehead State head coach Preston Spradlin particularly enjoyed two of Broome's numbers.

“I love those blocked shots,” Spradlin said. “I love the rebounds. He did a fantastic job in ball screens that did not show up in the stat sheet.

“He played fantastic. I thought he grew up a lot with his defensive maturity. He was playing physical on both ends of the floor.”

Broome was excited as the final seconds ticked away. He lifted both arms, twirled and extended his right index finger.

“We worked our butts off in practice, and it's showing, and that's why we've got 10 wins in a row,” Broome said. “... We take a lot of pride in our defense every day in practice.”

A couple more defensive statistics were noteworthy: Morehead State held the Racers to 36% shooting (20-of-55); and the Eagles grabbed 39 rebounds, including 31 defensive. (Murray State had just 21.)

The 10 straight wins are third most in program history and best since the 2009-10 Eagles won 11 in a row. That's just the beginning because: the string is fifth-highest active run among NCAA Division I schools (Gonzaga, Baylor, Drake and Belmont are the first four).

You have to take a few minutes to count the rest of them.

Thursday's win was the first season sweep of Murray State since the 2002-03 season. The Eagles' 11-2 start in Ohio Valley Conference games is the most since being 11-1 in 2009-10.

All of which should keep the Eagles in the mid-major Top 25 poll (they were 25th this week) – the first time that's happened since the 2010-11 season.

There were multitudinous other reasons for the Eagles to be happy. They hit 27-of-49 shots for 55%, amassed 42 points in the paint to Murray State's 18 and got 12 points each from Cooper, KJ Hunt Jr. and Skyelar Potter.

Morehead State had the first scoring streak, a 15-6 run that became a 19-11 lead. It didn't last because the Racers countered with a 19-7 string that included five 3-pointers.

“I should've called a timeout there to kind of weather the storm,” Spradlin said. “... They were playing a lot of zone throughout the game, especially late in that first half.

“We got a little bit stagnant, and we just had to get back to being aggressive and driving the ball. That was the difference in the game for us.”

Almost as quickly, Murray State grew chilly – just five points over the final 5:09.

Morehead State uncorked an 18-5 run that included two Potter layups, Broome's dunk, Cooper's 3-pointer, two layups and three Hunt free throws.

The result: Eagles, 50-38, with 10:59 to go. Cooper mentioned two more defensive adjustments.

“Our help-side defense in the (10- to 15-foot range) and denying the ball outside,” Cooper said.

The Racers hung around, and not just because a 10-2 run pulled them to within 52-48 with 6:45 to go; they scored 24 bench points to Morehead State's five and knocked down 11 3-pointers for the game.

Morehead State's 14-8 rally the rest of the way clinched the win. Tevin Brown and Chico Carter Jr. led Murray State (8-9, 5-7) with 13 points each.

The Eagles are second in the OVC behind Belmont. The Eagles host Austin Peay at 2 p.m. Saturday.

“We're always in attack mode,” Broome said. “Every day in practice, we're attacking. If our shot's not falling, we know we can get to the rim anytime we want to.”


Robinson 2-4 1-2 2 5

Smith 1-3 2-2 0 5

Bostick 1-1 0-0 0 2

Brown 4-17 2-2 9 13

Williams 3-8 0-0 2 7

Carter 5-11 0-0 1 13

Gilmore 0-1 0-0 0 0

Hill 3-7 0-0 2 9

Whitley 0-0 0-0 0 0

Kirby 1-2 0-0 0 2

McMullen 0-0 0-0 0 0

Sivills 0-1 0-0 1 0

Team 2

TOTALS 20-55 5-6 21 56

FG Pct.: 36.4. FT Pct: 83.3. 3-point FG: 11-27 (Smith 1-3, Brown 3-12, Williams 1-3, Carter 3-4). PF: 13. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 9.


D. Cooper 6-9 0-0 4 12

Hunt 3-6 5-6 4 12

Baker 3-4 2-4 6 9

Broome 8-14 0-0 10 16

Potter 5-11 0-1 7 12

Dixon 0-0 0-0 0 0

Bryan 1-1 0-2 3 2

Sebree 0-2 0-0 2 0

T. Cooper 1-2 0-0 1 3

Team 2

TOTALS 27-49 5-9 39 66

FG Pct.: 55.1. FT Pct: 53.8. 3-point FG: 5-13 (D. Cooper 0-2, Hunt 1-2, Baker 1-1, Potter 2-5, Sebree 0-1, T. Cooper 1-2). PF: 8. Fouled out: Dixon. Turnovers: 14.

MURRAY ST. 33 23 – 56

MOREHEAD ST. 32 34 – 66

Technical fouls: Dixon.

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