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Big First Half Sends EKU to Win at Tennessee Tech

Michael Moreno - EKU Athletics

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – February 15, 2021

The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team delivered a dominant first half and then cruised the rest of the way to an 83-72 win at Tennessee Tech on Monday at the Eblen Center.

Just like at Tennessee State two days earlier, EKU (17-5, 11-4 OVC) exploded out of the gates and grabbed a commanding early lead. A three-pointer by junior Cheikh Faye made it 21-8 just over five minutes into the game.

A jumper by senior Russhard Cruickshank pushed the Colonels’ advantage to 16, 27-11, with 11:17 on the clock. A triple by sophomore Michael Moreno handed Eastern its largest lead of the day, 48-22, with 3:34 left in the first half.

The Colonels led the Golden Eagles, 56-36, at the break. In an impressive display of offensive efficiency, EKU shot 69 percent (20-of-29) from the field and 69.2 percent (9-of-13) from three-point range in the first 20 minutes. Eastern’s 20 first-half field goals came on 16 assists.

EKU led by double digits the rest of the way.

Moreno paced a balanced scoring effort for the Colonels, pouring in 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting from deep. Junior Tre King added 13 points and five rebounds, while redshirt freshman Curt Lewis had 10 points, five boards and three assists.

The Colonels finished the game 56.4 percent (31-of-55) from the field and 52.2 percent (12-of-23) from long range.

Tennessee Tech’s Jr. Clay led all players in the game with 23 points.

The Colonels stifled the Golden Eagles (3-20, 3-13 OVC) to 22.2 percent (6-of-27) shooting from deep.

EKU will play at UT Martin on Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET.

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