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Men’s Hoops Forces 29 Turnovers in Win over Lafayette (Pa.) | Morehead

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MOREHEAD, Ky. — Senior Milton Chavis led the Morehead State basketball team with 18 points and five steals in an 88-74 victory over Lafayette (Pa.) on Sunday afternoon at Johnson Arena.  The contest was MSU’s third in the Barclays Center Classic.

The Ohio Valley Conference Eagles improve to 3-1 on the season, while the Patriot League Leopards slip to 1-3 on the campaign.  It was the first ever meeting between the schools in men’s hoops.

“I’m really happy with the energy and effort we brought to the court today,” Head Coach Sean Woods said.  “I thought we played really hard and were disruptive to Lafayette with our defense.”

Junior Drew Kelly registered 12 points for the Eagles, while junior Bakari Turner tossed in 11, sophomore Angelo Warner contributed 10 and junior Maurice Lewis-Briggs managed eight.

Kelly paced Morehead State with seven rebounds, while senior Devon Atkinson dished out 10 assists and Warner tallied eight.  Chavis and Warner also collected five steals each.

“We had a lot of positive contributors for the second straight game,” Woods said.  “Devon and Angelo were pretty consistent today and gave us good minutes in the backcourt.”

Morehead State forced 29 Lafayette turnovers, which led to 36 points.  The Eagles, who shot 54 percent (34-of-63) for the game, held advantages of 42-12 in paint points and 36-20 off the bench.

“I’m happy with the number of turnovers we forced, but I thought we should’ve turned those into more points,” said Woods, whose team also committed 20 miscues.  “You can’t turn the opponent over and give the ball right back to them.  We did too much of that — and that’s something we will work on.”

Morehead State started the contest on a 10-0 run off seven Lafayette miscues, but the Leopards quickly cut the lead to one with an 11-2 run that included three buckets from beyond the arc.

The first half featured four ties and three lead changes.  The game was tied at 33 halfway home.

Lafayette stayed in the affair with its hot three-point shooting.  The Leopards connected on 46 percent (15-of-33) from long distance, with seven treys in the first half and eight after intermission.

Morehead State went on a 7-0 run over the first 1:12 of the second period to take a 40-33 lead, but the Leopards connected on two from distance to cut the deficit to one.

LC trimmed the deficit to 72-68 with 4:02 remaining, but the Eagles closed on a 16-6 spurt to pull away.  MSU is now 52-8 (.867) at Johnson Arena over the past five years.

Morehead State posted a 35-29 rebounding advantage.  The Eagles were also credited with 24 assists and 19 steals.  Six individuals recorded a helper and seven forced a miscue.

“I like the amount of depth we have,” Woods said.  “That’s been a trademark of my teams.  With a rotation of 11 or 12 guys, I feel like we can wear down a lot of our opponents this year.”

Lafayette sophomore Joey Ptasinski led all scorers with 23 points on 7-of-13 from beyond the arc.  Sophomore Seth Hinrichs added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Leopards.

The Eagles return to action on Wednesday when they travel to defending national champion Kentucky.  Tip-off from Rupp Arena is set for 7 p.m. ET.  The contest will be carried on Fox Sports South and shown on ESPN3.com.  Live audio and stats will be linked via MSUEagles.com.

“We have to take advantage of the big stage this time,” Woods said.  “I didn’t like how we played at Maryland.  We were too nervous and anxious.  We got away from the game plan and dug a hole that was too big.

“We will have to crank up our athleticism on Wednesday because Kentucky is obviously a great program, with several future NBA players.  I just want us to play hard and smart — and we’ll see where the chips fall.”

 

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