EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Johni Broome scored a career-high 27 points on 12-of-19 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds and Morehead State cruised to a 86-71 win over top-seeded Belmont on Saturday in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship game.
Skyelar Potter made 7 of 11 from the field and finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds for No. 2 seed Morehead State (23-7). DeVon Cooper scored 14 points and Ta’lon Cooper added 10.
The Eagles clinched their first berth in the NCAA tournament since 2011 and won their fifth OVC tourney title.
Nick Muszynski led Belmont (26-4) with 23 points, Luke Smith scored 15, and Grayson Murphy added 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Broome score eight points in a 16-5 spurt that gave Morehead State, which never trailed, a 38-26 lead late in the first half and the Eagles led by double figures throughout the second.
The Bruins have won at least a share of three straight OVC regular season titles and won the conference tourney last season but, due to the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA tournament caused by the coronavirus pandemic, haven’t appeared in the Big Dance since earning an at-large bid in 2017.