RENO, Nev. - Senior Chad Posthumus notched his sixth career double-double, and the Morehead State men’s basketball team tallied a 63-58 win over Nevada on Sunday afternoon at the Lawlor Events Center. The victory was MSU’s fifth in November, which marks a school record.
The Eagles, who compete in the Ohio Valley Conference, improved to 5-2 overall and 3-2 on the road. Morehead State is just one win from matching its road-victories total from all of 2012-13 (4-12). The Wolf Pack, which plays in the Mountain West Conference, fell to 3-3 overall.
Sunday’s contest, which was played before a crowd of 5,133, was part of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational. It was the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
“I’m proud of my team because we grinded out another difficult road win today,” Morehead State Coach Sean Woods said. “We didn’t have our best game offensively, but our defense was really solid. Nevada is a very good opponent and this is a difficult place to play, so I’m happy with the result.”
Posthumus, who leads the OVC and ranks fourth nationally in rebounding (12.8 rpg), finished with 10 points and 16 rebounds. He now has 51 points and 65 rebounds over his past four tilts. It was his fifth straight effort with double-figure boards.
Junior Angelo Warner led the Eagles with 15 points, while senior Drew Kelly added a season-high 13. All of Warner’s points came after intermission, while all of Kelly’s came in the first half. Junior Kareem Storey added eight rebounds and four assists.
“Chad had another big night for us,” Woods said. “Drew gave us some great minutes in the first half and Angelo was big for us down the stretch. If we can continue to get good play from Drew and Billy (Reader), we will have a pretty complete team.”
The Eagles were limited to 32 percent (8-of-25) from the floor and 25 points in the first half, but hit 48 percent (13-of-27) and scored 38 points after the break. Morehead State also recorded advantages of 39-32 in rebounds and 16-9 in second-chance points.
The contest featured seven ties and 12 lead changes. The Eagles knocked down five of their first eight field-goal attempts in the second period to open up a five-point lead. Morehead State’s biggest lead of seven points came with 5:59 remaining.
Nevada trimmed the deficit to 58-57 with 1:04 to play on a three by senior Deonte Burton, but MSU canned five of its final six free-throw attempts to hang on for the non-conference victory. Burton, who came in with 25.6 points per game, led all scorers with 19.
“Deonte is a very good player, so the game plan was to make him earn everything he gets,” Woods said. “Our defense was pretty good tonight, especially from our guards. I think we have some of the best defensive guards in college basketball.”
The Eagles registered a 24-16 upper hand in paint points and forced 10 turnovers in the second half.
Morehead State is in an eight-game stretch with seven road contests. The Eagles now head to Las Vegas to complete their 10-day West Coast swing. MSU faces Chattanooga on Thanksgiving Day and either Gardner-Webb or IUPUI the day after.
“I will certainly take a 5-2 record at this point,” Woods added. “We have one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation this season. Seven of our first nine games are on the road, but I think these challenges will help us in the long run.”