Chad Posthumus had a double-double, including a career-high 21 points, for Morehead State in its first visit to Pauley Pavilion.
Kyle Anderson did him one better, with a triple-double for the No. 22 Bruins, who shook off the pesky Eagles in the second half to win 81-70 Friday night.
Posthumus grabbed 18 rebounds — one off his career best — for the Eagles (4-2). Brent Arrington added 17 points, including five of his team's 10 3-pointers.
"Chad was the best post player on the court," Eagles coach Sean Woods said. "My team is a tough team. We're not going to go away, we will continue to fight."
The Eagles whittled a 17-point deficit to eight by halftime and then closed within three points four times early in the second half. Posthumus showed the Eagles weren't done yet, scoring 10 of their first 16 points.
"If we make a couple of plays then it would be a different outcome," Woods said.
Jordan Adams scored a career-high 30 points and freshman Zach LaVine added 12 for the Bruins (4-0) in a regional game of the Las Vegas Invitational. They play Chattanooga on Sunday before heading to Sin City for their final two tournament games over Thanksgiving weekend.
Both teams grabbed 36 rebounds, but Morehead State shot just 37 percent and had 13 turnovers.
"It's tough when they are hitting as many shots as they did, and we had a couple of turnovers," Posthumus said. "If we had gotten a couple of more shots we could have won the game."
The Bruins, who led by 17 points in the first half, missed their first three shots and had a turnover to start the second half.
After they got within three for the last time, the Eagles suddenly went cold and the Bruins capitalized with a 12-3 spurt that extended their lead to 71-57. Anderson scored five points and Travis Wear, playing his first game since having an appendectomy on Oct. 28, dunked and got fouled, making the free throw. Wear finished with 11 points.
"It was like 100 mph. I got out there and I was kind of like a deer in the headlights," said Wear, who first practiced on Wednesday. "I kept trying to tell myself, slow down. I was excited to get out there."
Morehead State hit three 3-pointers in the final 2:47 to get back within single digits.
The Eagles haven't beaten a ranked team since 2011, when they upset Louisville 62-61 in the NCAA tournament.
Morehead State took its second lead of the game, 18-17, on a 3-pointer by Angelo Warner. Arrington hit a 3-pointer to open the game.
The Bruins answered with a 20-2 run, including four 3-pointers, to go up 37-20. LaVine hit two of the 3s while scoring eight points. Adams had five, and Wear four.
"Anytime you're on runs like that you get defensive stops," UCLA coach Steve Alford said. "When this team gets defensive stops, we're very good in transition."
The Eagles had the last run of the half, an 18-9 spurt that drew them to 46-38 at halftime. Posthumus scored eight points and Warner had five.