EKU falls at home to the Gamecocks
Eastern Kentucky came into tonight’s game at home knowing they needed to win to keep pace in the Ohio Valley Conference. Playing with a short bench due to injuries and playing the defending OVC tournament champions Colonels came into play 2-5 in conference play and looking to secure a win and improve their seeding in the Valley. The top 8 teams make the OVC tournament, Southeast Missouri is ineligible due to APR violation.
EKU early in the opening half went on an 8-0 run to take a 15-7 lead but Jax State battled back to cut the lead to 4 at the under 8 minute media timeout 20-16. The gamecocks scored 15 of the final 19 of the first half including back to back three’s to end the opening half. Colonels shot 10-27, 2-9 behind the arc, in the 1st half. DeAndre Dishman led the way with 8 points at half for the Colonels. In that first half Nick Mayo became only the 8th Colonel ever to score 1300 points and grab 500 rebounds in their career. He also passed George Bryant in the half to move into 14th place on the all-time leading scorer board.
Second half Colonels get within 3 points at 33-30 but another run by Jacksonville, 8-0, pushes the lead out to 11. Down 52-43 with just over 5 minutes left Jax State misses a three pointer but a long rebound and a three pointer as the shot clock expired put them up 12. State was 3-8 behind the line in the second half while EKU went 0-4. Colonels get back within 7 late but Jacksonville answered knocking down free throws late and holding on to win it by a score of 68-60.
DeAndre Dishman with a career high 21 points in the loss, he also grabbed 8 rebounds. Nick Mayo with his 4th double double of the season 14 points and 11 rebounds. He also moved up to 13th place on the all-time scorers list passing Bryant and Kenny Elliott. Dedric Boyd with 20 points, Freshman Peyton Broughton 2 points, Charles Zach 2 points and A.J. Youngman with a point. Eastern shot 18-51 in the game and had 15 turnovers. With the loss EKU falls to 2-6 in conference play and now sits a game out of the postseason. They are tied with UT Martin and Morehead State and only a game behind SIU Edwardsville, Eastern Illinois, and Tennessee State. Colonels on the road for their next two, Austin Peay 5-3 in conference play, and Murray State 5-2 in conference. Next home game February 1st against OVC leader Belmont