Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Morehead State Upsets Siena to Advance in CBI Tournament

Morehead State 84
Siena 80

Final from Albany, New York

Game recap by MSU:

ALBANY, N.Y. - Senior Lyonell Gaines had a career-high 20 points and 11 rebounds, while junior Xavier Moon chipped in 17 points, as Morehead State won at Siena, 84-80, in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational.

With the win, the Eagles move to 20-12 on the season, marking their seventh 20-win season in program history. Five of those 20-win campaigns have come in the last eight years and head coach Sean Woods has led MSU to 20-plus wins twice in four years.

The win marks Morehead State's first postseason victory since 2011 when they beat Louisville in the NCAA Tournament.

Siena finishes the season at 21-13.

"That team (Siena) is a mirror image of us and whoever won the hustle stats like rebounding was going to win the game," said Woods. "We outrebounded them, we turned them over 19 times, and we took care of our business down the stretch. This was a total team effort, everyone that played came in and contributed.

The Eagles went to the locker room at half with a 44-43 lead after jumping out to a 12-2 lead to start the game. Eleven different Eagles scored in the first stanza.

In the second half, MSU built a 65-57 lead with 11:23 to go, but Siena responded with six straight points to get it back to 65-63. Morehead State then built the lead right back to six, but the Saints immediately responded again with five straight points and the Eagles led 69-68 with 7:25 to go.

After a jumper by Siena's Ryan Oliver trimmed the Eagles lead to 73-70, Gaines delivered back-to-back buckets to give Morehead State a 77-70 lead they held until Nico Clareth hit his third three-pointer of the game with 1:11 to go.

In the closing minute, Morehead State hit 7-of-8 free throw attempts to seal the 84-80 victory.

The Eagles finished the game shooting 20-of-24 from the charity stripe.

"Everybody stepped up. We've been shooting a lot of free throws in practice so we've been paying a lot of attention to it and it's paying off," said Woods.

With 20 points and 11 rebounds, Gaines finished with his second career double-double, and his second in his last three games. He finished 10-of-16 from the floor and also had four steals.

The senior from Louisville, Ky. has now scored in double digits in six straight games.

"He's (Gaines) been unbelievable. I told him, every time you play well, we win," said Woods.

Complete Recap

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