Men's Basketball

Free throws, Faried fuel Morehead men's victory

MOREHEAD — Just another night at the office for Kenneth Faried, just another home-floor victory for Morehead State.

Faried totaled 20 points and 13 rebounds Thursday as the Eagles won their 23rd consecutive game in Ellis T. Johnson Arena, 76-64 over Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee Tech.

In a game that saw both teams shoot 42.9 percent from the floor, 23.1 percent from three-point range, Morehead sealed victory by sinking 25 of 30 free throws. Tech made 19 of 28.

Faried, a 6-foot-8 senior, was named to the 30-deep John R. Wooden Award mid-season watch list earlier in the day.

He came into the game averaging 19.1 points and 13.8 rebounds, leading the nation in rebounds and in double-doubles. So Thursday's effort was somewhat expected.

Faried said he, his teammates and coaches expect such stats. Holding 9-month-old daughter Kyra, he added, "my daughter even expects it out of me, believe it or not."

With three NBA scouts in the crowd of 2,026 on hand, Faried now wants more.

"I'm pushing myself harder to reach higher goals," he said. "My teammates told me my solid 13 rebounds are not going to cut it, and my coaches told me that, too. So I've just got to push myself even harder because I want to lead the nation in rebounding."

Faried had four dunks and finished 8-for-14 from the field, 4-for-5 from the free-throw line. Add to that three assists, a block and a steal, with no turnovers over 35 minutes.

Yet, it might have gone for naught without his teammates doing their job at the free-throw line.

Sam Goodman scored all of his 11 points at the line, missing only once.

Coach Donnie Tyndall credited the accuracy to one of his assistants, Joseph Price.

"Tonight, he'll take the credit," Tyndall said. "If they miss, he's going to get the blame."

Goodman said Price works daily with him on his release, "and it's paying off now."

As for the home-floor streak, "I've really never been a part of a team this talented as a whole," Goodman said. "And to be a part of something this special, it means a lot."

Terrance Hill added 13 points and Demonte Harper had 10 for MSU (10-6, 3-2 OVC).

"I thought our team showed resiliency because ... Tennessee Tech, in my humble opinion, would be the surprise team in the OVC," Tyndall said. "I think they're deep one-through-10. ... They're probably the only team in our league that plays 10 legitimate guys."

The Golden Eagles (6-7, 2-2) were led by Jud Dillard with 20 points and nine rebounds. Chase Dunn added 10 points.

Assistant coach Steve Payne directed Tech in the absence of Mike Sutton. The latter, a former University of Kentucky assistant, did not travel with the team because of a flareup of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that is sometimes likened to polio. Sutton was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré six years ago.

Morehead led 32-28 after a first half that saw Tech score the first nine points, Morehead the next 19 and Tech the next eight.

Tech rallied to lead briefly in the second half and was within 57-55 with less than six minutes left.

The Eagles pulled away with an 11-0 run.

Faried lobbed to Drew Kelly for the first two points.

Then, Harper lobbed to Faried for one of his four dunks; Kelly converted a three-point play; Hill scored on a put-back; and Harper sank two free throws.

That made it 68-55 with 4:02 left. Tech never came closer than 11 after that.