JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – January 23 ,2020
Jomaru Brown poured in 24 points and Tre King added 18 as the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team held on for its second straight road win, 81-77, against Jacksonville State on Thursday night at Pete Mathews Coliseum.
Brown went to the bench early in the first half with foul trouble but exploded out of the gate in the second half, scoring 16 of his 24 points in the final 20 minutes. Like in last Saturday’s win at Tennessee State, Brown sank four free throws in the final minute to seal the road victory.
King finished with 18 points and a game-high nine rebounds for the Colonels.
Junior Russhard Cruickshank drained five three-pointers to match his career high with 15 points.
EKU shot 50 percent from the floor (31-of-62) and a season-high 52.4 percent from three-point range (11-of-21) on the night.
EKU (8-12, 5-2 OVC) came out hot, grabbing an early nine-point lead when Brown drained a jumper to make it 18-9 with 14:23 remaining in the first half.
The Colonels took their largest lead of the first half when junior JacQuess Hobbs stole the ball in transition and laid it in to make it 38-26 at the 4:25 mark.
JSU (8-12, 3-4 OVC), however, cut the lead to four, 42-38, at the break.
Eastern regained the momentum at the start of the second half. A triple by Cruickshank pushed the Colonels’ lead back out to 11, 53-42, just over three minutes into the half.
Jacksonville State slowly chipped away at the lead and pulled to within two, 73-71, following a jumper by Elias Harden with 3:32 remaining. A bucket by Jacara Cross again made it a two-point game, 77-75, with 54 seconds left.
However, Brown pulled through in the clutch, going 4-of-4 in the final minute to hold off the JSU charge and seal the win.
Cross paced Jacksonville State with 20 points.
The Gamecocks out-rebounded the Colonels, 36-25; however, Eastern won the turnover battle on the night, 18-9.
The Colonels stay on the road to face Tennessee Tech on Saturday night in Cookeville. Tip is at 8:30 p.m. ET.