Drew Kelly scored a career-high 40 points and Kareem Storey tied Morehead State’s single-game record with 16 assists as the Eagles soared past South Dakota 120-83 Thursday night.
Kelly’s 40 points are the most by an Ohio Valley Conference player this season. He was averaging 5.5 points this year and 7.4 points in a 101-game career for MSU. None of that mattered Thursday when Kelly hit 8 of 12 three-pointers and had 14 field goals overall. Kelly entered with 22 buckets and four three-pointers in 12 games.
So it went for the Coyotes (3-8) Thursday.
Morehead State entered the contest as one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the nation at 28 percent. The Eagles made 10 of 13 three’s in the first half (77 percent) and cooled off to make 7 of 19 in the second (37 percent). Including Kelly, five Eagles made at least two three’s.
Morehead State shot 65 percent in the first half (23 of 35) and took a 57-34 lead into halftime. Kelly had 18 at the break on 7 of 10 shooting. The Eagles finished 44 of 80 from the field for 55 percent.
The Coyotes (3-8) had five players score in double figures, but couldn’t keep pace with the Eagles. It is the third time in the last five games South Dakota has lost despite scoring more than 80 points. Casey Kasperbauer made 5 of 7 three-pointers and led the team with 15 points. Trevor Gruis added 14 points and blocked four shots.
Storey entered as the 24th-leading assist man in the country at six per game. He had nine by halftime and helped six Eagles reach double figures. Brent Arrington had 19 points, five steals and four rebounds. Angelo Warner had 16 points, nine assists and six boards. Chad Posthumus came off the bench to earn his seventh double-double in 13 games this season. He had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Morehead State had 14 steals and forced South Dakota into a season-high 19 turnovers. The Coyotes, who set a program record with 43 made free throws in an 85-75 win against Morehead State last season, were 22 of 28 from the line Thursday. South Dakota shot 45 percent (26 of 58) from the field.
South Dakota returns to the court against Youngstown State on Dec. 29 in Ohio. The team rings in 2014 with five consecutive games inside the DakotaDome where the team has performed just three times this season.