Four Morehead State Eagles scored in double figures, and the MSU men's basketball team used early and late scoring spurts to put away Cincinnati Christian 85-74 in an exhibition game at Johnson Arena Monday night.
Morehead State led 16-2 in the first eight minutes and held a 33-14 lead later in the first half before gaining an 11-point (35-24) halftime lead. However, CCU nailed 14 three-pointers on the night and cut the MSU lead to three twice in the second half while only trailing by four (71-67) with less than four minutes left. The hosts doubled up the visiting Eagles 14-7 in the final 3:49 for the final margin.
"We have to understand that no matter who you play, if it's an NAIA team in an exhibition or if its Kentucky or Xavier, at this level people do not stop," said head coach Preston Spradlin. "So give CCU credit, I thought for the most part they outplayed us tonight. But I did think there were some good things. Our freshman played pretty well, guys like James (Baker) and Malek (Green) gave us good, hard minutes."
Despite sitting out the first half, junior forward Lamontray Harris finished with a team-best 15 points, including 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Sophomore guard Jordan Walker tallied 14 points, while junior forward Cedric Wright chipped in 13 and hit 6-of-7 field goals. Junior point guard A.J. Hicks turned in 11 points and a team-best six assists. Sophomore guard Djimon Henson notched nine points and six boards along with four handouts.
Morehead State shot 64 percent (32-of-50) for the game and out-rebounded CCU 34-21. CCU connected on 14-of-34 from beyond the arc and evened up the hosts 49-49 in the second 20-minute period.
Morehead State also held a decisive advantage in points scored in the paint at 50-18.
Patrick White led CCU with 20 points, while Kobe Brown sank five triples and scored 17.
Morehead State will open the regular season Friday night at No. 17 Xavier at 7 p.m. ET. The game will air live on the Eagle Sports Radio Network as well as on TV on Fox Sports.