Four starters scored in double digits for Norfolk State on Monday in Morehead, Ky., but Morehead State rallied in the second half to send the Spartans to their fourth consecutive loss.
Malcolm Hawkins led the Spartans (2-5) with 18 points. Kris Brown added 13, Brandon Goode had 12, and Rob Johnson contributed 10 points and nine boards.
Milton Chavis scored a game-high 19 points for the Eagles (4-2), who enjoyed a 37-11 advantage in bench points.
The game was close from start to finish, with the margin staying within single digits for all 40 minutes. Norfolk State trailed 32-29 at intermission but went on an 8-0 run early in the second half to grab a 35-34 lead. The Spartans widened the gap to as many as seven points before Morehead rallied, regaining the lead on a dunk by Chavis with 6:01 to go in the game.
The lead seesawed back and forth between the teams into the final minute. After Johnson made a layup to stake the Spartans to a 67-66 lead with 59 seconds remaining, Morehead's Jarrett Stokes answered with a 3-pointer at the other end to put Morehead ahead for good, 69-67, with 27 seconds left.
Norfolk State missed three 3-point attempts and turned over the ball once during the final seconds.
Morehead State played without head coach Sean Woods, who was serving a one-game suspension handed down by the school after Woods pushed an Eagles player during Wednesday's loss at Kentucky. Associate head coach Dylan Howard led the Eagles against the Spartans.