EKU loses a heart breaker at the Buzzer
Eastern Kentucky men home tonight for a crucial match-up with Tennessee Martin. The men are 2-10 in conference play and UT Martin comes in at 3-9 in league play. UT are losers of three straight while the Colonels have lost 6 in a row and the last seven league games at home. EKU won at Martin earlier with Dedric Boyd scoring a career high 31 points. EKU in must win situations from here on out, they sit two games out of the final playoff spot with six games left.
The first half started as the Nick Mayo show, Mayo knocked down 3 straight three pointers, he’s 7 for his last 8 behind the arc, and Eastern led 11-2. Martin opened in a zone and Nick took advantage of it. Afer a timeout Martin came back and went on a 7-2 run to get back within 13-9 until another trey by Mayo pushed it back out to seven at 16-9. With the basket Mayo passed former Colonel great Demarkus Doss for 12th all time on the scoring list at EKU as junior. After another timeout by the Skyhawks they came out and went on an 8-4 run to pull within a point at 18-17 with 7:55 left in the half. Mayo once again showing out scores 7 of the next 9 for the Colonels to put Eastern ahead 27-22, Martin just wouldn’t go away though with Matthew Butler knocking down a three as the shot clock expired to pull within 2 points at 33-31. Dedric Boyd with a three to end the half and Colonels lead 36-31 at the break. Colonels shoot 46% in the half and hit half their three point attempts going 8-16. Martin shot 14-26 in the half with 2-3 from three land. UT could have had the lead at half but went 1-7 from the charity stripe. Nick Mayo with 23 points (8-10 & 5-6 from 3) to lead everyone in scoring. One stat of note for Martin though, they outscore Eastern 20-8 in the paint.
The second half started with a Nick Mayo three pointer to give the Colonels an 8 point lead but a three from Bogan and basket by Williams got the Skyhawks back within 3 at 39-36. Another Mayo basket and dunk by DeJuanta Weaver gave the Colonels a 7-2 run to go up 5 at 46-41 but after that Martin used a 13-4 run of their own to take their first lead since 2-0 and they never trailed again. Some bad luck for the Maroons as they could never get the game tied, with 7:46 left a questionable offensive foul call on Mayo wiped away a basket and turns into a four point swing as Terrence Parker with his only basket of the game put Martin up 59-55 instead of being tied at 57. Mayo went cold for nearly seven minutes from the floor before he scored and had a chance to tie the game from the free throw line but he goes 1-2 and Colonels still trailed 62-61. In a wild ending to the game a dunk by DeAndre Dishman with 10 second left put the Colonels on top 69-67 but Matthew Butler with only 1.7 seconds on the clock knocks down the game winner from downtown and Tennessee Martin escapes with a 70-69 win. Nick Mayo with a career night, 36 points on 13-21 shooting 7-10 behind the arc. He also adds 5 rebounds. Weaver with 12 points, Dishman with 8 points and 8 rebounds, Dillon Avare with 6 points, Zach Charles 4 points, and Dedric Boyd finishes with 3 points.