Morant’s triple-double leads Murray St. past E. Illinois
MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Ja Morant distributed 14 assists, scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his first triple-double and Murray State pulled away from Eastern Illinois for an 80-52 win Thursday night to start Ohio Valley Conference play.
Morant, a freshman, topped his previous career high of 12 assists and committed just one turnover in the process. Jonathan Stark led Murray State (9-3) with 21 points, Shaq Buchanan scored 15 and Terrell Miller Jr., 11.
Stark had his own 8-0 run with a dunk and pair of 3-pointers, Byron Hawkins scored on a jump shot and the Racers led 22-9. The Panthers got back in it with an 8-0 run with Jajuan Starks scoring five and Montell Goodwin added a 3 before Stark made three free throws after he got fouled by Ray Crossland on a 3-point attempt for a 25-17 lead.
Brion Sanchious made a pair of free throws for a 41-31 lead before halftime and the Racers were up double figures the rest of the way.
Goodwin led Eastern Illinois (4-8) with 16 points and D’Angelo Jackson scored 13.