MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Darnell Cowart scored 20 points off the bench and grabbed nine rebounds, leading four into double-figure scoring and Murray State topped Morehead State 90-69 to kick off defense of its Ohio Valley Conference championship Thursday night.

Ja Morant added 16 points, Shaq Buchanan 15 and KJ Williams 14 for the Racers (10-2), who advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season. The Racers are 8-0 at home this season. Murray State's losses were to Southeastern Conference teams Alabama and then-No. 7 Auburn.

Jordan Walker pushed Morehead State (4-10) to a 20-19 lead midway through the first half, but Morant answered with a 3 a half-minute later and the Racers went off on a 13-2 run. The Eagles have not won at Murray State since 2003.

Lamontray Harris led Morehead State with 19 points and seven rebounds, Walker scored 14.

Murray State shot 66 percent from the floor, 19 of 29, in the first half to lead 45-26 at the break. The Racers dominated the paint 64-22 and scored 23 points off turnovers.