MOREHEAD — Facing Ohio Valley Conference co-leaders Tennessee State and Austin Peay over a three-day stretch, Morehead State just had to take care of matters on its home court.
The Eagles did, capping a difficult sweep Saturday with a 69-56 wire-to-wire victory over Peay in Johnson Arena.
"We've been looking forward to this," said Demonte Harper, who had 11 points, five rebounds and four steals. "It's a big week for us."
Morehead, which beat Tennessee State 72-65 Thursday, is 15-8 overall and in a three-way tie for third in the OVC at 7-4, a half-game behind Murray State (7-3).
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Kenneth Faried, who leads the nation in rebounding (14.2), led Morehead with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Terrance Hill added 14 points, and Ty Proffitt had 11. Drew Kelly, grandson of the late Austin Peay and Kentucky high school coach Lake Kelly, had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Peay (14-9, 8-3), still the OVC leader, got 15 points from John Fraley and 10 from Justin Blake. The Governors were outrebounded 44-25.
TyShwan Edmondson, "arguably the best guard in our league," according to Morehead Coach Donnie Tyndall, came in with an OVC-best 19.2 scoring average. The Eagles held him to nine points on 2-for-14 shooting, 1-for-11 from three-point range.
"Our main focus was just to shade him a lot in our zone and make him take contested shots," Harper said, "and, hopefully, he'd have a bad night. And he did."
Faried, a 6-foot-8 senior, shot 8-for-11 from the field, with three second-half dunks.
He noted the intensity of a rivalry that had gone to overtime in three of the last four meetings, including Peay's 86-85 home-floor victory on Dec.21. Faried said he has appreciated the intensity since his sophomore year, when the Eagles went 3-0 against the Governors en route to the NCAA Tournament.
"Ever since then it's been animosity and we've been going at each other," Faried said. "It always seems to be an overtime game, but tonight we were lucky enough to just get the win in regular session. I believe we played hard and we just went out there and did what we were supposed to do."
Morehead scored off the opening tip, on a Hill layup, and never trailed.
The Eagles made exactly half of their 50 field-goal tries, holding Peay to 20-for-57.
"We did a pretty good job on the offensive end of the floor, 50 percent clip," Tyndall said. "We worked off Kenneth. We knew they would double him. We got some inside-out threes off our rotation when they did double the post, so we played pretty well. Maybe, arguably, our best game to date."
Morehead led by as many as 12 in the first half and 32-26 at intermission.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Blake rallied Peay to within 44-42, but Morehead ran off the next seven points and pulled away.
Hill started the run with a three-pointer. Sam Goodman fed Faried on a break for an alley-oop dunk. Harper followed with a 13-footer in the lane.
"From the get-go ... they really got after us," Peay Coach Dave Loos said. "I was really concerned about our rebounding and, of course, we got hammered on the boards. Also, we shot 35 percent, and if you're going to shoot 35, the other team can't shoot 50."