EVANSVILLE, Ind. – SIUE men's basketball bowed out of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Thursday, falling in the quarterfinals to regular-season co-champion Morehead State 78-63.

SIUE fell to 17-16. Morehead State improved to 24-8 and will advance to the OVC semifinals where they will meet No 2 seed and fellow regular-season co-champion UT Martin.

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

"We battled all year," SIUE Head Coach Brian Barone said.

The offense was slow to come for the Cougars who missed their first four shots and knocked down just 2 of their first 11 attempts from the field.

"We just didn't make enough shots at the rim," Barone continued. "Not because we can't make them, we just didn't make them. (Morehead State) is a heck of a team. They're very good. We didn't do enough offensively. We got enough stops early."

Morehead State opened the game 4-12 from the field but recovered to lead 34-21 at halftime.

Article continues after sponsor message

The Cougars never got closer than nine in the second half.

Ray'Sean Taylor led SIUE with 19 points. He moved into fifth place all-time in school history in scoring and now has 1,314 points. Shamar Wright scored 12 points and sits alone in third place in SIUE scoring with 1,549 points. He is the all-time leader in games played with 154. Lamar Wright is second in games played with 143. He has 978 career points.

"I look at the twins and all they've been through," Barone said. "We have back-to-back winning seasons for the first time, which is a heck of an accomplishment; four OVC tournament appearances in a row; back-to-back wins in the OVC Tournament; most home wins in a season this year; most road wins last year. You see these guys continue to impact the community. I wish we could have pulled it off for them.

Damarco Minor scored nine points and has 983 career points in just two seasons at SIUE. Terrance Thompson also scored nine points.

The Cougars shot 36 percent (21-58) for the game and 5-19 (26 percent). SIUE was 16-18 (89 percent) from the free throw line.

Morehead State's Riley Minix led all players with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Eagles shot 50 percent (27-54) from the field.

More like this:

Feb 28, 2024 - Cougars Drop Road Test at Eastern Illinois

Feb 18, 2024 - SIUE Men's Basketball Overcomes 15-Point Deficit to Win on Senior Day

Jan 2, 2024 - Shamar Wright Scores 21 In 78-70 SIUE Men's Victory Over WIU

Jan 12, 2024 - SIUE Outlasts Southern Indiana

Mar 7, 2024 - SIUE Cruises Past Eastern Illinois 68-57, Heads to OVC Quarterfinals