Colonels off to best start since 1952-53
RICHMOND – January 9, 2021
Lexington native Tre King scored a career-best 29 points and the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team hit 16 three-pointers in a 90-80 victory over Tennessee Tech University on Saturday at McBrayer Arena. At 11-2, the Colonels are off to their best start since the 1952-53 season.
A 4:02 scoring drought in the second half by EKU allowed Tech to turn an 8-point deficit into a 1-point lead. Dane Quest finished off the 9-0 run with a lay-up at the 3:56 mark to put the visitors in front 78-77, but from that point Eastern (11-2, 5-1 OVC) out-scored the Golden Eagles 13-2.
Curt Lewis ended the drought with a 3-pointer from the left wing with 3:32 to go to put Eastern back on top by two. With the game tied at 80-80, Georgetown native Cooper Robb hit 3-pointers from the right corner on back-to-back possessions to give the home squad a 6-point cushion with less than two to go. King’s dunk with 1:12 left to play put an end to Tennessee Tech’s hopes for an upset.
Eastern Kentucky made 16-of-37 attempts from 3-point range (43.2 percent). Tech shot well from deep too, going 15-of-31 (48.4 percent).
King hit on 13-of-23 from the field, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range, and grabbed nine rebounds. Freshman point guard Wendell Green Jr. had 15 assists to go along with 10 points and two steals. Georgetown native Michael Moreno finished with 13 points and four boards. Robb made 3-of-5 from long range to finish with 11 points and five rebounds.
EKU had 26 assists on its 35 made field goals and out-rebounded the Golden Eagles 36-33.
Tennessee Tech (1-12, 1-5 OVC) started the game hot from long range and led by as many as seven points late in the first half. An 8-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Damaria Franklin, put the Golden Eagles in front 34-27 with 4:09 to go in the opening frame. Ten of TTU’s first 11 field goals came from behind the arc, starting 10-for-17 from deep. Tech hit just one of its first seven attempts from inside the 3-point line.
The Golden Eagles still led by seven, 36-29, with 3:26 left in the first half before the Colonels scored 10 unanswered. Green and Moreno both hit 3-pointers during the run. A dunk by Tariq Balogun finished it and put EKU in front 39-26. Tennessee Tech went more than two and a half minutes without scoring. A 3-pointer from Lewis with 0.9 seconds remaining in the first half put Eastern on top by three, 44-41, at the break.
EKU shot 43 percent in the first half and made seven 3-pointers. Tech shot 44 percent from the field, going 10-of-19 from long range (53 percent).
EKU led by just two early in the second half before a dunk by King and a 3-pointer from Robb pushed the margin to seven, 51-44. Moments later, 3-pointers from Moreno and JacQuess Hobbs pushed the Colonels out in front by double digits, 59-49, with 14:25 left in the game.
A 3-pointer from Russhard Cruickshank with 10:38 on the clock gave Eastern another 10-point advantage, 70-60.
Keishawn Davidson led Tennessee Tech with 18 points. Jr. Clay had 15 points and 10 assists.
The Colonels hit the road for two straight games beginning Thursday at Southern Illinois Edwardsville. The game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET.