MOREHEAD — Morehead State didn't play a basketball doubleheader Sunday afternoon. It just seemed so.
The Eagles, after trailing by 21 points in the first half and 15 at intermission, turned the tables in the second half and went on to stun Marshall 102-94 in overtime.
The teams combined for 76 fouls and 108 free throws, with eight players (five from Marshall) fouling out.
If those numbers spell u-g-l-y, though, the final result was a thing of beauty as far as Morehead Coach Sean Woods was concerned.
"Give Marshall all the credit. The came into our house and really gave it to us in the first half," Woods said. "I thought that we fought with them at the beginning, and their athleticism gave us some trouble. We had to find a way in the second half to actually slow them down.
"I thought our zone and then our kids' resiliency to not quit under some adverse situations, with foul troubles and things like that, found a way to win."
Brent Arrington, 4-for-6 from three-point range, and Bakari Turner led Morehead (3-1) with 24 points each. Angelo Warner added 15. Chad Posthumus had 14 points and 15 rebounds. Super sub Luka Pajkovic tallied 13 points.
Marshall (2-1) broke the first half open with a 15-0 run, turning a 15-14 lead into a 30-14 bulge. The Thundering Herd's biggest lead, 48-27, came with a minute left.
"Just focus," Posthumus said of his team's mood then. "We didn't play our game in the first half. We let the refs get into our head a little bit. We weren't executing . ... We came out in the second half, it's do or die."
Morehead, which led the nation in fouls last season, was in deep trouble by intermission. Drew Kelly had four fouls and no points. Billy Reader had four points and four fouls, and Posthumus had three and two. In addition, point guard Kareem Storey had three fouls and just two points.
The Eagles did score the last six points of the half, though, then steadily chipped away in the second half.
"We came out in the second half like we had mud on the bottom of our feet," said Marshall's Elijah Pittman, the former Holmes High standout who led all scorers with 31. "They just drove us to death and attacked the rim and, luckily, the refs were calling fouls, blowing the whistle and they made some free throws. And we missed free throws towards the end."
Morehead didn't catch up until Posthumus made two free throws with 13.9 seconds left to make it 86-all.
Marshall's DeVince Boykins went to the line with 1.1 left in regulation, but hit the front of the rim on his first attempt, then launched an air ball.
"In the second half, I was missing a few free throws," Arrington said. "But when we got in that huddle once we knew we were in overtime, we were like 'free throws would have won us the game in regulation, and we've got overtime.' Everybody got their 'focus face' on, just took a deep breath and knocked them down."
Morehead, 26-for-51 from the foul line during regulation, went 14-for-14 in overtime. Arrington mixed in a drive through traffic for two points.
Marshall ended 29-for-43 at the foul line, 2-for-4 in OT.
Kareem Canty added 19 points and nine assists for the Herd, but had nine turnovers. Ryan Taylor added 12 points and Shawn Smith had 10.
"A tale of two halves, to say the least," Marshall Coach Tom Herrion said. "A frustrating, painful loss for our group. We played so well for the first 20 minutes or so, and they kind of flipped a switch on us."
Morehead State at Northern Ky.
When: 7 p.m.
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @markmaloneyhl. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.