MOREHEAD — High noon wasn't the right time for Morehead State to tip off its game with James Madison on Thursday.
The Eagles came out flat, shot poorly, fell behind by double figures and lost 74-62 to the Dukes.
With students gone for the holidays, the university invited a crowd from Rowan County Middle School and several elementary schools, raising attendance to an announced figure of 4,004.
"I love them," said Morehead center Kenneth Faried, who scored 21 points and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. "It was a fun experience."
Faried, however, said the Eagles (3-8) played timid instead of being more aggressive.
"It was an early game, and everybody seemed nervous and timid," Faried said. "Usually we're on the attack."
James Madison (6-4) took advantage, making eight of 10 shots from three-point range and leading 34-22 at intermission.
Take away Faried's 5-for-7 shooting and the Eagles were 5-for-23 from the field and 0-for-5 behind the arc.
The Dukes built a 22-point lead midway through the second half before the Eagles put together an 11-0 run. James Madison then scored nine of the next 11 points and stayed comfortably ahead.
"They gave us our worst loss last year (89-57 at JMU), then they came here and controlled the game," MSU Coach Donnie Tyndall said. "Their guards are talented because they don't turn it over."
Dukes guards Devon Moore and Pierre Curtis each had six assists and two turnovers. Most often, they set up Kyle Swanston, who led all scorers with 23 points.
Morehead finally found its shooting eye after clanging 33.3 percent in the first half. The Eagles shot 54.2 percent after the break and used a trio of threes by Maze Stallworth and John Lamb to fuel their 11-0 run to get within 11, 59-48, with 7:23 left.
But 10 seconds later, Stallworth fouled Swanston away from the ball. Swanston made two free throws and hit a pull-up jumper after an MSU turnover.
"We've got to be smarter than that," Tyndall said of the foul.