MOREHEAD — Excitement comes with the territory, the Morehead State versus Eastern Kentucky rivalry.
In the course of 40 minutes, you usually see it all, especially the last-second drama that is part of the long-standing series.
Morehead won the latest installment 68-64 Saturday night, losing all but one of an eight-point lead in the last three minutes, then making enough free throws to survive.
The Colonels had a chance to tie at the end. His team trailing 67-64 with 5.7 seconds left, Coach Jeff Neubauer drew up a play for Mike Rose to take the tying shot. After all, Rose had won EKU's last two games with three-pointers in the final three seconds.
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This time Rose didn't get the ball. MSU's Maze Stallworth guarded the inbounds passer, Justin Stommes. The Eagles' Demonte Harper intercepted, was fouled and made the final point.
"I thought it was tipped when I let it go," Stommes said. "Mike was coming off a screen."
Winning coach Donnie Tyndall said, "We wanted to keep Maze close. Eastern made great plays to get back in it."
The victory kept the Eagles (11-10, 7-2) within one game of Austin Peay in the Ohio Valley Conference. Eastern is 11-9 and 4-5 at the midpoint of the OVC season.
Morehead seemed in control, building a 65-57 lead with 3:54 to play.
But when freshman Jorge Camacho made a free throw at 10.2 seconds, the Colonels were within one.
MSU's Brandon Shingles rebounded Camacho's miss, was fouled and dropped in a pair of free throws at 8.8 seconds.
Eastern called time at 5.7 to set the final play.
Morehead players told Tyndall in the huddle not to worry and that they would handle the final seconds.
The Eagles were in a position to win because of Stallworth's three-point shooting. His team-high 18 points came from six baskets in 10 shots behind the arc.
Stallworth was playing his third game after a three-game suspension. He pleaded guilty last week for fraudulent use of a credit card. The original felony charge was changed to a misdemeanor.
Stallworth found his spot in the corners and fired up the Johnson Arena crowd of 5,350.
"I've been playing them three years, and I know what they do on defense," Stallworth said.
"They're so good inside with (Kenneth) Faried and (Leon) Buchanan," Neubauer said. "Stallworth played great."
Rose led all scorers with 22 points. Faried had a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds. Camacho scored 15 points for Eastern.
By halftime, Stallworth had four treys and 12 points, sharing scoring honors with Rose.
Morehead had 11 turnovers to only a pair for the Colonels. Eastern had a 12-0 edge in points off turnovers. The margin was 21-8 at game's end.
MOREHEAD ST. 68, Eastern Ky. 64
EASTERN KY. (11-9) — Jones 4-9 1-1 11, Rose 6-13 8-8 22, Taylor 1-2 0-0 2, Stommes 4-7 0-0 10, Wiersma 1-2 0-0 2, Mestdagh 0-2 0-0 0, Lewis 1-4 0-0 2, Oppong 0-6 0-0 0, Camacho 5-8 5-6 15. Totals 22-53 14-15 64.
MOREHEAD ST. (11-10) — Hill 2-4 0-0 5, Shingles 1-1 2-3 4, Harper 2-9 1-2 6, Buchanan 5-8 5-7 15, Faried 5-6 4-6 14, Stallworth 6-10 0-0 18, Murry 2-4 1-2 6, Lamb 0-0 0-0 0, Peterson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-43 13-20 68.
Halftime—Morehead St. 33-32. Three-point point goals—Eastern Ky. 6-19 (Rose 2-3, Stommes 2-4, Jones 2-5, Taylor 0-1, Mestdagh 0-1, Lewis 0-2, Oppong 0-3), Morehead St. 9-18 (Stallworth 6-10, Murry 1-1, Hill 1-3, Harper 1-4). Fouled out—None. Rebounds—Eastern Ky. 24 (Camacho 7), Morehead St. 33 (Faried 12). Assists—Eastern Ky. 14 (Jones, Wiersma 4), Morehead St. 17 (Shingles 7). Total fouls—Eastern Ky. 16, Morehead St. 13. A—5,350.