Morant scores 29 and Murray State routs Eastern Illinois

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — Ja Morant scored 29 points, 20 of his team’s 48 in the first half, and Murray State routed Eastern Illinois 83-61 on Thursday night.

Morant, a sophomore guard averaging 23.1 points and a nation-best 10.7 assists per game, had nine assists and made 11-of-16 from the field, including 4-of-5 3-pointers. Shaq Buchanan added 17 points and eight rebounds, and KJ Williams had 14 points and 16 rebounds for the Racers (14-2, 5-0 Ohio Valley).

Mack Smith led the Panthers (10-8, 3-2) with 22 points. Shareef Smith added 13 points and Rade Kukobat scored 12.

The Racers had runs of 15-2 and 12-5 in the first half and led 48-29 at the break. Eastern Illinois would get only as close as 15 points in the second half.

Murray State shot 52 percent and had a 48-32 advantage in rebounds.