In a back-and-forth contest in which the lead changed 15 different times, Morehead State men's basketball (11-12, 7-3 Ohio Valley Conference) defeated Southeast Missouri (11-15, 6-5 OVC) 89-81 on Saturday evening at the Show Me Center.
"We're having fun, and we just don't look at the score," said interim head coach Preston Spradlin. "We just play, we just execute. We don't care if we're up or if we're down. We're going to fight, we're going to scrap, and we locked in and played extremely well down the stretch to secure the win."
With the Eagles trailing 73-69 at the 7:23 mark of the second half, junior guard Miguel Dicent nailed his first jumper of the ballgame. Despite going scoreless on 0-for-1 shooting in the first half, Dicent would go on to score 14 consecutive points for Morehead State, part of a 20-8 run that surged the Eagles to victory.
"Miguel is a special player, and that stretch was extremely special," Spradlin said. "We work on our offense all the time, and we give both him and Xavier so much freedom to make suggestions, and we scored off some of their suggestions. But, it's all about getting those guys in rhythm so they can make those types of shots."
Redshirt-senior DeJuan Marrero poured in a career-high 24 points to go along with 12 rebounds and five assists. The Gary, Ind. native's performance was good for his 12th double-double of the season, and the 19th of his career.
"(Marrero) was a point forward out there tonight," said Spradlin. "He was driving, he got five assists, hit jump shots, and got fouled. What a game for him. He's a special player. I thought it was terrific the way he responded and played with a great pace."
Both teams shot over 50 percent from the floor, and over 40 percent from three-point range. The Eagles finished 35-of-59 (.593) as a unit, firing 10-for-15 (.667) from downtown. MSU outscored the Redhawks 36-22 in the paint, and won the rebounding battle by a 32-24 margin.
Senior Xavier Moon added 17 points without missing a minute of action, while Ronnye Beamon logged a career-high 14 points and six boards. Treshaad Williams tallied 12 points and five rebounds.
Morehead State will host Murray State in its next contest, tipping off next Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. Coming off an 81-69 loss to Belmont, the Racers sit at 12-12, 6-4 OVC this season.