EMPORIA – Emporia State scored the first eight points and Tray Buchanan erupted for a career-high 40 points in the Hornets’ 91-51 win over Graceland on Sunday afternoon.
The Hornets led 12-2 at the first media timeout with 14:37 left in the half. The lead stayed in the teens until the final four and a half minutes of the half. Buchanan and Jumah’Ri Turner combined to go on a 15-2 run to give Emporia State a 45-18 lead with 1:27 left in the half. Buchanan scored ten of the points, including a four point play, while Turner added five. Buchanan took the ball coast to coast with 43 seconds left for his 22nd point of the half as Emporia State took a 47-20 lead into the break.
Emporia State would take a 34 point lead as Buchanan went on a personal 18-11 run over the first four minutes of the second half. After CJ Wilson hit a three-pointer to start the half for Graceland, Buchanan answered with a three of his own and then scored on a jumper just outside the paint with 18:10 left. The grad transfer was then fouled on a three-pointer in the corner with 17:42 left which led to a technical foul on the Yellowjackets Khyle Washington. Buchanan hit all five free throws to make it 57-25, then after a Graceland score he hit another three-pointer to make it 60-27 with 17:03 left as he scored 13 points in 1:42. He would score five more points, the last a three pointer with 14:06 left, before checking out for good with 40 points.
The Hornets would continue to build on the lead, getting it to 41 points on Gage McGuire’s fast break dunk off a Kaden Evans steal and assist with 4:08 left.
Buchanan finished the game with a career high 40 points on 14 of 19 shooting with five made three-pointers in just 23 minutes. He was joined in double figures by Jumah’Ri Turner with 13 points, Brooks Haddock with 11 and Mayuom Buom with ten points. Haddock and Peyton Rogers-Schmidt shared game high honors with six rebounds each while Kaden Evans dished a career high ten assists.
After going 5-1 in the non-conference, the Hornets will begin MIAA play on Thursday, December 2 against Neb.-Kearney. Tip-off from White Auditorium is set for 7:30 p.m.
Buchanan’s 40 points are the fifth most scored by a Hornet since joining the NCAA.
52 Thomas Vincent vs Southwest Baptist on Feb. 28, 2004
49 Robbie Ballard vs Northwest Missouri on Jan. 29, 2003
45 Tim Niles at Central Oklahoma (2OT) on Nov. 16, 2009
45 Sean Robbins vs Lincoln on Jan. 18, 1995
40 Tray Buchanan vs Graceland on Nov. 28, 2021
40 Terrence Moore vs Southwest Baptist on March 4, 2014
40 Shawn Herrman vs Sterling on Dec. 5, 2005
Emporia State’s 5-1 mark is their best non-conference record since going 6-1 in 2008-09. That one loss was a regular season game at Kansas State.