MOREHEAD — For Karam Mashour, the third double-double of his career was all about defending his turf.
"We just need to protect our home every game," the senior said Thursday after leading Morehead State to a 72-57 victory over Tennessee State. "We can't keep losing in our house, and we all talked about it."
Mashour finished with 21 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. Brent Arrington added 13 points, three assists and three steals. Billy Reader blocked a career-best five shots, also netting six points and five rebounds.
Mashour's 14 rebounds were a career high and the most by an Eagle this season.
"Just trying to help my team to win," said the 6-foot-6 Mashour, from Nazareth, Israel. "My team did a great job boxing their man out."
The Eagles (11-14, 6-4 Ohio Valley Conference) improved to 4-6 at home.
The win also got MSU recharged after Saturday's 66-57 loss to archrival Eastern Kentucky.
"Energy" was the key, Arrington said. ".... We came out enthused and just really wanted to get a win because we just took this loss (hard) this past weekend."
Christian Mekowulu paced Tennessee State with 20 points. Xavier Richards added 13 points and nine rebounds, while Marcus Roper scored 11 points.
The Tigers (5-19, 2-7) dropped to 0-13 on the road.
"We knew that Tennessee State was going to come out fighting," MSU Coach Sean Woods said. "They're coming off a two-game winning streak. They're a team that is always dangerous, because they don't know how good they are or how bad they are; they just come out and play. If you give them confidence, like we did in the second half, they can give you some problems.
"But credit to our guys. We got stagnant a little bit versus their zone, then finally we infiltrated a little bit with dribble penetration and good passing when they came out and trapped us. And we did what we needed to do to get the win. But we've got to continue to get better, especially against zone because everybody is going to zone us now, trying to slow us up."
Morehead never trailed. The Eagles led by as much as 32-17 late during the first half and 34-24 at intermission.
The Tigers shot just eight of 32 (25 percent) during the first half, compared to MSU's 14 of 25 (56 percent).
Morehead pushed the lead to 50-34 when Mashour converted a fast-break bucket early in the second half.
Four of Tennessee State's next five buckets came on three-pointers, though, as the Tigers rallied to within 55-48 with 9:55 left. Roper had three of the treys.
A Richards free throw with 4:02 left made it a six-point game, 59-53.
But it was all Morehead from there, as the Eagles finished the game with a 13-4 run. Tennessee State missed seven of its last nine shots.
Angelo Warner started Morehead's final push with a three-pointer.
After a Mashour score, he assisted on a Reader dunk.
Then Mashour scored on a three-point play and a three-point bomb.
Morehead finished with 10 three-pointers on 26 attempts. Overall, the Eagles made 28 of 53 shots (52.8 percent). Tennessee State wound up 20 of 56 (35.7 percent).
"Our defense has been really good," Woods said. "What gets us in trouble offensively is when we turn the ball over, and that leads to fast-break buckets. That's how people shoot a good percentage against us. Normally, if it's a half-court game, mano a mano, we're rock-solid defensively."
Morehead wraps up a three-game homestand Saturday night against Belmont.