The Morehead State men’s basketball team registered 45 bench points and 29 points off turnovers in an 85-81 victory over Jacksonville State on Thursday night at Johnson Arena.
The Eagles improve to 12-14 on the campaign, 6-6 in Ohio Valley Conference action and 9-4 at Johnson Arena. The Gamecocks fall to 15-9 overall, 7-6 in league play and 5-6 on the road.
MSU improves to 17-8 in the all-time series against JSU. The Eagles have also won 83 percent (59-12) of their home games over the past five seasons, including 88 percent (36-5) in OVC action.
“I was pleased with the energy and enthusiasm tonight,” Head Coach Sean Woods said. “We didn’t put our heads down when we made a mistake. We kept pushing — and found a way to get a win.”
Junior Bakari Turner led five Morehead State players in double figures with 19 points off the bench. He tied his career high by drilling 7-of-9 from the field, including 4-of-5 from three-point range.
Senior Devon Atkinson added his best offensive effort in 52 games as an Eagle with 18 points. He made all six free-throw attempts and collected seven assists with no turnovers in 30 minutes.
“We had contributions up and down the line-up, which was great to see,” Woods said. “Bakari had a good night shooting the basketball, and Devon really stepped up for us at the point guard position.”
Junior Chad Posthumus added 13 points, nine rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots for MSU, while junior Jarrett Stokes chipped in with 12 points and senior Kahlil Owens added 11.
“Chad’s performance was huge,” Woods said. “We need Chad to be a force inside — and he was tonight. We can be pretty good when he’s playing defense, rebounding the ball and blocking shots.”
Morehead State canned 54 percent (28-of-52) from the field — its third-best clip this season — including 62 percent (18-of-29) after intermission. The Eagles also made 9-of-18 from long range.
Morehead State finished +22 in bench points, +10 in points off turnovers and +10 in second-chance points. The Eagles also turned in a 27-21 rebounding edge, including 11-4 on the offensive end.
Over the past 13 contests, MSU is now +128 in total rebounds, +82 in offensive boards and +73 in second-chance points. The Eagles have outrebounded 11 opponents during the stretch.
Jacksonville State senior Tarvin Gaines exploded for a career-best 31 points in the setback. He knocked down 8-of-12 from the floor, 12-of-13 from the foul line and pulled down five rebounds.
Juniors Brian Williams and Rico Sanders tallied 15 points apiece for the Gamecocks on a combined 10-of-13 overall, including 6-of-8 from long distance. Williams also recorded a team-high five assists.
The affair featured 11 lead changes and three ties. Jacksonville State’s biggest lead of three points came with 17:18 remaining. MSU’s largest advantage of 10 came with 7:28 before the break.
The lead changed hands six times in less than three minutes down the stretch. Morehead State pushed ahead by five on a pair of free throws by Atkinson, but JSU answered with a 5-0 spurt on a three by Williams and lay-up by senior Ronnie Boggs after a turnover on the in-bounds pass.
With the game knotted at 81, the Gamecocks were called for a shooting foul and technical foul on MSU’s final possession. Stokes swished both technical freebies with 1.6 seconds left in regulation. Atkinson then tickled the twine on both of his attempts after being bumped on a running lay-up.
Morehead State continues its four-game homestand on Saturday when Tennessee Tech stops at Johnson Arena. The tilt, which follows an MSU vs. TTU women’s game, is set for approximately 7:30 p.m. ET. Live video, audio and statistics will all be available via MSUEagles.com.