Eagles snap three-game losing streak; beat SE Missouri, 63-53

In the final game of a three-game roadtrip, Morehead State women's basketball used the help of four players in double-figures, two of which tallied double-doubles, to do something it hadn't done all season.

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Courtesy: Moreheads St. Athletics

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (Morehead State Athletics) – In the final game of a three-game roadtrip, Morehead State women’s basketball used the help of four players in double-figures, two of which tallied double-doubles, to do something it hadn’t done all season.

Morehead State picked up its first road victory of the year Saturday, knocking off host SIUE at First Community Arena, 63-53. The win moves the Eagles to 3-8 on the year and 2-5 in the Ohio Valley Conference while dropping the Cougars to 4-7 and 1-5 in conference play.

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Sophomore Ariel Kirkwood led the quartet of Eagles scoring 10 or more points, posting a game-high 20 points to pair with 12 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the year and second in as many games. The Milwaukee, Wis. native also added three steals, three assists, and two blocks, making her presence known on both ends of the floor.

Joining Kirkwood with a double-double was redshirt sophomore Gabby Crawford who tallied 12 points and 10 boards for her fourth double-double of the season. She was also an enforcer on the defensive end, rejecting a career-best six shot attempts.

Junior Ellie Jo Johnson and redshirt sophomore Lauren Carter joined the duo of Crawford and Kirkwood in double-figures giving the Eagles four players in double-figures for the second time this season.

Morehead State also commanded the scoreboard for a majority of the game, leading for all but five-and-a-half minutes in the game, trailing for only two-and-a-half minutes with no SIUE lead exceeding two points.

Morehead State returns home for the second of as many games with SIUE as the two teams are slated to make up the previously postponed contest. The game at Johnson Arena tips at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday evening.

KEY MOMENTS

  • Morehead State jumped out to an early 6-0 advantage thanks to a suffocating defense and a presence in the paint, holding to 0-of-6 from the floor in the game’s first three minutes. The Eagles scored four or their six points in the run in the paint.
  • With SIUE scoring to end the first run, Morehead State quickly answered with two baskets of its own before the Cougars provided their answer. The Eagles closed the quarter holding SIUE to 0-of-7 from the floor while racing out to a 6-0 run to end the frame. Overall, in the first quarter, Morehead State scored 12 of its 16 points in the paint.
  • After a slow start from the floor in the first quarter, SIUE heated up in the middle of the second period, leading to an 11-0 run, helped by two three balls, to trim the Morehead State lead two. The Cougars would tie the game at 20-20 following a pair of Sara Majorosova free throws, but the Eagles cinched the defense allowing just three shot attempts over the final two-plus minutes of the quarter.
  • Trading buckets out of the locker room, SIUE used a quick five-point spurt in the middle of the third quarter to take their largest lead of the contest. Morehead State quickly answered with a five-point run of its own to regain the lead.
  • SIUE’s Mikayla Kinnard scored four points on a run of her own to give the Cougars their final lead of the game, but Morehead State owned the final minute of the quarter, scoring four points, all from Gabby Crawford to retake the lead for good.
  • Morehead State’s defense took over in the fourth quarter, holding SIUE without a field goal for nearly eight minutes in the final frame, holding the Cougars to 0-of-6 from the floor in the stretch. The Eagles outscored SIUE 16-7 during the run with all seven SIUE points coming from the free throw line.
  • The Eagles outpaced SIUE in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Cougars 26-19 in the quarter. Morehead State nearly equaled SIUE in points from just the free throw in the quarter, converting 18-of-20 attempts in the period, including 11-of-12 attempts over the game’s final five minutes.

KEY STATS

  • Shooting 23-of-28 (82.1 percent) from the charity stripe Saturday, Morehead State has shot 80 percent or better from the free throw line in consecutive games. Saturday’s game also marks the sixth time in 11 games this season the Eagles have exceeded a free throw percentage of 80 percent or better.
  • Entering the game averaging 19.7 free throw attempts per contest, the Eagles exceeded that average with 28 attempts versus SIUE. Of note, 20 or the team’s 28 attempts came in the fourth quarter with the Eagles converting 18-of-20 foul shots in the period.
  • Morehead State scored 32 points in the paint against SIUE, outscoring its opponent 32 to 18 in the lane. The +14 advantage in the paint marks the second-best points in the paint margin for Morehead State this year.
  • Saturday’s game marked the 10th game this season that Morehead State has out-blocked its opponent while also representing the fifth game this season with 10 or more blocks in a game.
  • Morehead State was held without a made three Saturday versus SIUE, finishing the game 0-of-9 from beyond the arc. The game snapped a streak of 183 games hitting at least one three-pointer, a streak which dated back to Jan. 8, 2015 when the Eagles went 0-of-13 from deep at Southeast Missouri.
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Austin Miller joins ABC 36 Sports Team as a Sports Reporter and Weekend Anchor. Austin is from the Louisville area and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 2008. Austin graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a second concentration in German. While at IU, Austin was a blogger at Kentsterling.com and co-host, producer and engineer for WIUX, the school’s student radio station. Before coming to ABC 36, Austin was a news videographer at WLFI in West Lafayette from 2012-2015. While working with WLFI, Austin had the chance to cover the Purdue Boilermakers. He then accepted a Sports/New Reporter position at Local 4 KSNB-TV in Hastings Nebraska and was eventually promoted to sports full-time as the Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter. While at KSNB-TV, Austin covered the University of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Hastings College. After spending nearly six years away from home, Austin is excited to return to the Bluegrass State to cover the teams he grew up watching. In his spare time, Austin enjoys playing basketball, working out and cooking. If you have any story ideas or would like to say “Hello,” you can reach Austin by email at amiller@wtvq.com or direct message him on Twitter @AustinMillerTV.