Morehead State men’s basketball opened its game at Southeast Missouri on Saturday on a 16-0 run and never relinquished the lead in winning 73-54 over the host Redhawks.

The Eagles improved to 18-8 overall and 12-3 in the OVC, opening up a two-game lead over Eastern Kentucky in second place in the Ohio Valley Conference race. SEMO fell to 7-19 and 3-12 in the league.

Kenneth Faried registered his 19th double-double of the year with 15 points and a team high 12 rebounds. Maze Stallworth was 6-for-8 from three-point range for the second consecutive game, scoring a team high 23 points. Demonte Harper had 11 points for his 21st game in double figures. He was 9-of-12 from the charity stripe.

The Eagles shot 11-of-20 from three-point range and out-rebounded the Redhawks 34-24. MSU also shot 65 percent (11-of-17) from the field in the final half when the Eagles outscored the Redhawks 36-28. SEMO shot only 32 percent in the final half. For the game, MSU was 16-of-24 at the free throw line.

Cameron Butler led SEMO with 12 points, while Anthony Allison had 11.

“Southeast Missouri has been playing better, but I thought our team responded from a tough loss tonight. I thought we guarded a little better tonight and we drove the ball to basket well and got to the foul line,” said head coach Donnie Tyndall.

“Demonte was really good off the dribble tonight, and I thought we got some quality minutes from guys like Ty Proffitt and Sam Goodman.”

The Eagles opened the game on the 16-0 run in the first five minutes as a trio of three pointers, along with a stifling full-court defense, hampered SEMO’s offensive effort. Stallworth, Peterson and Brandon Shingles all drilled treys. Cameron Butler’s two free throws at the 15:27 mark were SEMO’s first points, and MSU held the Redhawks to just one field goal in the first six minutes.

“We built a big lead, and I think we thought it was going to be easy so we start to coast. We kept telling them don’t let up.”

The Redhawks finally cut the game under double digits on a Marland Smith three-pointer at the 12:50 mark to make it an 18-9 ballgame.

Stallworth got the hot hand from behind the arc late in the half, hitting a pair of triples as the Eagles led 37-26 at the break. He had 15 points by the half.

Both teams shot well in the opening 20 minutes as the Eagles hit 50 percent (12-of-24), including 7-for-12 from distance. SEMO hit 45 percent (9-of-20) of their attempts from the floor. Turnovers were an issue, however, as the Eagles committed 12 and the Redhawks gave the ball away 14 times. The Eagles scored 20 of their 37 points off SEMO mistakes, while the Redhawks put in 12 points off the Eagles’ floor miscues.

The Eagles built a 44-29 advantage early in the second half, hitting their first three field goals. The margin climbed to 50-34 after a Faried pair of free throws and sat at 59-44 with 7:36 left via a Faried jumper in the lane. Ty Proffitt then landed a three-pointer at the 6:15 mark to give his team a 62-45 lead, and Stallworth nailed his sixth trey 30 seconds later for the Eagles’ largest lead (65-45).

The Eagles turned the ball over 19 times and forced 16 total turnovers for SEMO. Faried scored 11 of his points in the second half as the Eagles had trouble getting the ball in the paint in the first half.

“I thought of our 12 turnovers in the first half, about half of them were when we were trying to get Kenneth the ball. The second half we did a much better job,” said Tyndall.

The Eagles host Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 78 p.m. at Johnson Arena.

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