Lyonell Gaines saved his best collegiate game for the last home game of his college career, scoring a career-high 27 points and 14 rebounds to lead his Morehead State Eagles to an 86-83 win over Nevada in the first game of the best-of-three CBI Finals.
Gaines was 11 for 15 from the field, to lead the Eagles to their twenty-third win of the season. They increased their home record at Johnson Arena to 14-2. It was a game that featured 12 lead changes and 15 ties. Morehead (23-12) took the lead on a Gaines jumper with 5:25 and never relinquished the lead.
Joining Gaines in double figures for Morehead were Brent Arrington (13) and DeJuan Marrero (15). Marrero's triple with 3:25 to play extended a three-point margin to six, and Gaines' baseline jumper gave the Eagles their largest lead of the game 83-76 with 2:59 left.
MSU collected 15 offensive rebounds creating second chance points that were the difference in the game as the Eagles made just four of 16 shots from beyond the three-point line while the Wolfpack were making seven of 16.
Nevada's Tyron Criswell was brilliant in defeat. The 6-3 senior scored a career-high 31 points, including five of the Wolfpack's final seven points, getting Nevada within that final three-point deficit. Both teams converted over 48% of their field goal attempts. Gaines was ten of 13 from the field and 11 of 15 from the charity stripe.
Nevada double-figure scorers were Eric Cooper Junior (15), Marqueze Coleman (10) and freshman Cameron Oliver (12). Of Oliver's five field goals, four were thunderous dunks. Coleman's trio of three-pointers all came during the second half.
Nevada (22-14) will host game two on Wednesday night and game three (if necessary) on Friday evening.