EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Despite a valiant second-half effort after trailing by more than 20, the Morehead State men's basketball team ultimately saw its season come to a close on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the OVC Tournament as the Eagles fell 95-81 to the Austin Peay Govs.
(Photo: Morehead State Athletics)
MSU finished its second full season under head coach Preston Spradlin at 13-20. The Eagles scored 52 second-half points, their highest output against a Division I team this year.
"We made so many strides this season, and our guys never quit again tonight," said Spradlin. "Our seniors laid a solid foundation, and everyone in this program contributed something to this season. We are better off. Last year, we weren't even here in Evansville."
The Eagles led 5-2 early but a 13-4 Gov run pushed their advantage to 15-9. Austin Peay nailed seven first-half three-pointers and eventually led by as much as 20, including a 49-29 halftime cushion.
MSU was held to just 2-for-14 outside the arc in the opening half.
The second half saw the Govs continue to hold a big lead as it was 61-41 at the 15:02 mark. But three consecutive triples, two by Baker and the other by Walker, brought MSU back to within 60-51 with 12:57 left.
MSU actually trimmed the APSU lead down to 70-61 with 8:51 left, but a 9-0 run the Govs put together ballooned the lead back out to 79-61 with 6:21 left.
However, the triples kept falling for MSU and they found themselves only tailing by 11 again (83-72) with 3:23 remaining. Morehead State nailed nine second-half three-pointers.
Junior guard Jordan Walker led the Eagles with 22 points, highlighted by 20 in the second half alone. Walker finished the year with 520 points.
Senior guard A.J. Hicks, playing in his final collegiate game, dished out nine assists for the second straight night. He concluded the season with 190 helpers, which ranks as the second highest single-season total in program history. He also scored 13.
Sophomore forward Malek Green again had a productive night, scoring 18 and grabbing seven rebounds. He had 51 points in the Eagles' two tournament games. Fellow sophomore nailed four triples, scored 11 in the second half, and had 14 for the night.