Junior Angelo Warner scored a team-high 19 points, including 7-of-8 from the free-throw line, and the Morehead State men's basketball team outlasted Tennessee State, 80-74 in overtime on Saturday night at the Gentry Center.
The Eagles, who have won six of their last eight games, improve to 14-8 overall, 5-2 in conference play and 6-5 on the road. The Tigers, who have dropped seven straight, slip to 2-21 overall, 1-8 in league action and 2-8 at home.
Morehead State also improves to 33-29 in the all-time series against Tennessee State. The Eagles won both regular-season affairs a season ago, but the Tigers posted a victory in the quarterfinals of the annual league tournament.
“We did not play well (Saturday), so we feel fortunate to leave here with a road victory,” Head Coach Sean Woods said. “We need to play smarter and execute better if we have aspirations of winning an OVC championship this season.”
Warner, who entered the tilt fifth among OVC players in scoring (17.4 pg), landed in double figures for the 50th time in his career and 21st time in 22 games this season. He registered seven points in overtime on 3-of-3 from the foul line.
Sophomore Brent Arrington added 15 points MSU, while senior Drew Kelly contributed 12 and senior Chad Posthumus posted 10. Posthumus, who began the day second nationally with 12.0 rebounds per outing, also pulled down a game-best eight boards.
Senior Patrick Miller, who entered the affair with a team-high 22.6 points per game, paced TSU with 36 points on 12-of-24 from the floor, 2-of-5 from long range and 10-of-14 from the charity stripe. His effort was just one point from his 118-game career high.
“(Patrick) Miller is one of the best guards in our league,” Woods said. “He's a big-time player who will have a chance to play at the next level. Give Tennessee State a lot of credit for the way they played tonight. They were hungry and played inspired basketball.”
Morehead State held a 65-59 lead with 29 seconds left in regulation, but Miller knocked down a pair of three-pointers in just four seconds. The Eagles committed a turnover and missed a shot down the stretch, which caused the extra five-minute session.
Warner scored just five seconds into the overtime, and Morehead State never trailed. The Eagles drilled all nine of their free-throw attempts in extra time en route to 82 percent (32-of-39) for the night.
MSU connected on 47 percent (22-of-47) for the contest, including 36 percent (4-of-11) from deep. TSU made 46 percent (25-of-54) overall, including 35 percent (7-of-20) from beyond the arc.
Morehead State managed a 32-17 edge from the free-throw stripe. The Eagles also posted a 35-30 rebounding advantage. MSU has only been outrebounded once in 22 contests this season.
“Injuries continue to make things difficult, but give our young men credit for winning one without our starting point guard,” Woods said. “If we are going to win an OVC title this year, it will have to be a total team effort. All of our players will need to contribute.”
Morehead State returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts Belmont at 9 p.m. The tilt will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network and broadcast on the Eagle Sports Network. Fans are encouraged to wear black as part of “Blackout Belmont” night.
“Belmont is very good, so we will have to be ready,” Woods added. “I want to challenge our community members and students to pack Johnson Arena on Wednesday night. Our team is working hard, feeds off that energy and deserves a homecourt advantage.”