The Morehead State women's basketball team opened up a 39-8 first-half advantage and never looked back in a 73-53 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Jacksonville State on Saturday (Feb. 1) afternoon at Johnson Arena.
The Eagles improve to 10-12 overall, 4-5 in conference action and 4-7 at home. The Gamecocks slip to 9-15 overall, 5-6 in league play and 4-9 on the road. MSU improves to 15-8 in the all-time series with its eighth straight win over JSU and eclipsed its win total from 2012-13.
"I was really proud of our entire team," Head Coach Tom Hodges said. "I was thrilled with the way we started, and even when we had some lulls, our freshmen came in and gave us some big minutes."
Junior guard Almesha Jones paced Morehead State with 21 points, on 8-of-10 from the field, and nine assists. It was her fourth 20+ effort in the last six games. Junior forward Mackenzie Arledge and freshman forward Shiloh Murphy chipped in with 15 apiece.
"Almesha does it all," Hodges added. "But it was a tribute to our team as well for finishing those great passes she made."
Murphy's total, which came on 5-of-8 from three-point range, was a career high. Arledge, who drilled 7-of-11 from the floor for a career-high point total, also yanked down a game-high 10 rebounds on her way to double-double No. 2 of the year. Freshman guard Aaliyah Wells registered a career-high 10 points.
"Mackenzie, Shiloh and Aaliyah had really good games," Hodges said. "Mackenzie executed a lot of things we have been working with her on, and Shiloh actually helped us immensely on defense."
Morehead State scored the first nine points and finished with a season-best field goal efficiency at 53 percent (29-of-55). MSU also nailed a 11 of 23 three-pointers. The Eagles, who rank 12th in the OVC in rebounding margin, secured a 31-26 advantage on the boards and had 20 assists.
Destany McLin notched a game-high 23 points for JSU and aso grabbed a team-best nine rebounds. JSU shot 40 percent (20-of-50) for the game. The Eagles also had advantages in points in the paint (36-22) and bench scoring (18-5). Jacksonville State never trimmed the MSU lead to less than 16.
The Eagles return to action on Monday (Feb. 3) when they host OVC opponent Belmont at 6 p.m.