Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Morehead State Loses Heartbreaker at Illinois State

Illinois State 67
Morehead State 66

Final from Normal, Illinois

Game recap by MSU:

NORMAL, Ill. - Sophomore Miguel Dicent's three-pointer with five seconds to go put the Eagles up, 66-65, but on the next possession, Illinois State's Devaug Akoon-Purcell got free for a layup at the buzzer, as Morehead State men's basketball fell 67-66 at Redbird Arena Monday.

The Eagles move to 1-1 on the young season.

"It was kind of a fluke play, they almost threw the ball out of bounds and he (Akoon-Purcell) caught up to it, and then did a good job of dribbling through traffic to get to the rim," said head coach Sean Woods on the last second play.

Morehead State went into the locker room trailing, 32-31, but started the second half on a 19-9 run to open a 50-41 lead. Junior Xavier Moon had 10 of the 19 points during the run as the Eagles opened the half knocking down nine of their first ten shots.

Akoon-Purcell kept the Redbirds in the game and with just under six minutes to go, he followed a slam with a three-pointer from the top of the key, giving ISU the lead at 61-59, their first lead since 38-36.

There were four lead changes in the final five minutes, but in the end, the team that had the ball last won the game.

"It was a tough game, I'm proud of our guys coming into an environment like this and playing well," said Woods. "We have seven new guys, and I still don't know what my team is all about. But, they're showing me, especially after tonight's game, how resilient they are."

Moon finished the game with a team-high 18 points. After knocking down his first seven shots, four of which were from deep, he failed to knock down a shot the rest of the way, finishing 7-of-12 overall and 4-of-7 from three-point range. He also had four rebounds, an assist and a steal, but it was his ability to score the basketball that really turned the corner for the Eagles early in the second half.

"That's what he does, he's a scorer," said Woods.

The Eagles finished the game shooting 41 percent from the floor and 44 percent from three, while the Redbirds shot 51 percent overall and 60 percent from deep.

The most impressive stat of the night for the Eagles was their 37-27 rebounding advantage against a much bigger team. They finished with 18 offensive rebounds to ISU's seven, and had 11 second chance points to the Redbirds' four.

"I was worried about the rebounding situation because Illinois State is a great offensive rebounding team, and they only got seven," said Woods. "And they're much bigger than us. I just thought our guys battled, which is a great testament to our basketball team."

Complete Recap

The game-winning shot:

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