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EKU Basketball

Colonels Overcome 13-Point Second Half Deficit, But Can’t Hold Off JSU

Jomaru Brown - EKU Athletics

RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team overcame a 13-point second half deficit but couldn’t hold off Jacksonville State University in an 80-71 loss on Saturday at McBrayer Arena.

The Colonels (4-11, 1-1 OVC) slowly clawed their way back after starting the second half down by 13, 44-31.  Two straight baskets from Jomaru Brown cut it to nine, 44-35.  A 3-pointer from the left wing from Lachlan Anderson got Eastern within five, 52-47, with 12:33 left in the game.  Brown’s baseline jumper with 11:28 to go made it a 2-point game, 53-51.  An offensive rebound, put-back and free throw from Tre King with 9:26 on the clock tied the game, 59-59, for the first time since 4-4.

Eastern Kentucky tied the game three more times over the next four and a half minutes but could never take the lead.  A jumper and a runner in the lane by JacQuess Hobbs tied it for the final time, 69-69, with 4:51 remaining.  Jacksonville State scored the next nine points to secure the win.  Two free throws by Jacara Cross with 3:52 left gave the visitors the lead for good.

Brown hit on 9-of-16 from the field and led Eastern with 18 points.  Ty Taylor added 10 points.  Michael Moreno contributed eight points and a team-best seven rebounds.

Cross had a game-high 20 points off the bench for the Gamecocks (7-8, 2-0 OVC).  De’Torrion Ware and Kayne Henry added 14 points each.

The Colonels withstood a hot start by the Gamecocks.  JSU made nine of its first 11 shots (82 percent), including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, to build a 22-12 advantage with 12:40 remaining in the first half.  EKU slowly narrowed the gap over the next six minutes.  Consecutive baskets by Brown made it a 6-point game, 22-16.  A 3-pointer from the right wing by Moreno and another bucket from Brown got Eastern within three, 27-24, with 7:28 to go in the first. 

When Darius Hicks made a lay-up with 6:50 on the clock, the Colonels were down just four, 30-26.  However, Jacksonville State closed the half on a 14-5 run to take a 13-point lead into the locker room at the break, 44-31.

JSU shot 53 percent in the first stanza and made 8-of-12 (67 percent) from behind the arc.  EKU hit on 37 percent of its first half shots and just 5-of-18 from deep.

After starting the game hot, the Gamecocks came out cold to start the second half.  Jacksonville State hit on just 4-of-15 to open the period and missed all six 3-point attempts as the Colonels staged their comeback.

Eastern shot 40 percent from the field for the game, including 25 percent (8-of-32) from long range.  JSU shot 48 percent for the game, and went 9-for-20 (45 percent) from behind the arc.

Eastern Kentucky plays host to Eastern Illinois on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

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