Colonels with a big win on Senior night to keep playoff hope alive
The EKU Colonels entered their senior night in a battle for the final playoff spot in the Ohio Valley tournament. Colonels entered 4-12 in conference play, a game behind SIEU Edwardsville 5-11, and tied with UT Martin. The Redhawks of Southeast Missouri are ineligible for postseason play due to an APR violation. Last game out the Colonels went to Nashville and upset a good Tennessee State team 72-59. Redhawks and Colonels have met once this season back in January with EKU winning 91-86. SEMO comes in riding a four game winning streak and looking to spoil the senior night for Dillon Avare and Zach Charles.
The game started with SEMO jumping out to a 4-2 lead until EKU behind a three pointer from JacQuess Hobbs went up 8-4. Denzel Mahoney, leading scorer for Redhawks, answered back a three of his own. At the first media timeout it was 8-7 EKU. After the TO Redhawks came out smoking knocking down a couple of three’s and jumping out to a nine point lead at 19-10. A three pointer from Dujuanta Weaver cut the SEMO lead to two points at 19-17 but a Daniel Simmons three and basket from Mahoney made it a seven point lead once again. Weaver knocks down his second three of the night but Redhawks answer back with a long three pointer from Simmons. Another three pointer for SEMO, their sixth of the game, made it an eight point lead with 8:24 to go in the half. Nick Mayo had been quiet with only six points. SEMO ran out to a 41-25 lead and just when it looked like the Colonels were in danger of falling far behind Mayo put Eastern Kentucky on his back and scored 13 of the teams final 17 points and the Maroons were only down three at half 46-43. Mayo finished the half with 17 points. Colonels only have two turnovers at the half. For SEMO they shot 9-15 from three land.
The second half senior Dillon Avare knocked down a triple to pull the Colonels even but a basket by Mahoney and a free throw put the visitors back on top by three. The last time EKU led was 8-7 but a flurry from the home team, an eight nothing run put them up 54-49. Much like mayo is for Eastern, Mahoney is that guy for Southeast Missouri, he scored seven in a row to make the game 58-56 Colonels. Mahoney had 22 points at this stage of the game. Redhawks took a 60-58 lead but senior Zach Charles knocks down a three pointer to put Eastern back up a point at 61-60 at the under twelve media timeout. Out of the break a couple of free throws by Jonathan Dalton but SEMO back on top 62-61, the sixth lead change of the game and fourth this half. Avare on his night knocks down back to back treys to regain the lead. Redhawks get back to within a point but once again Avare with a clutch three pointer to make it 72-68 at the timeout. Ray Kowalski with five quick points including the team’s 13th three pointer of the night gave them a 73-72 lead. Hobbs then goes on a tear scoring EKU’S next six points and putting the Colonels on top 80-78. Behind a nine zero run Eastern pulled out to an 85-80 lead but a Mahoney basket made it 85-80 with only 1:10 left in the game. EKU has been in the bonus since 14:18 in the second half. A quick miss by Nick Mayo allowed the hawks to run down and draw a foul and stop the clock putting Mahoney at the line where he knocks down a pair to make it a one possession game with only 34 seconds left. A turnover by Eastern but a jumpball gave it back to EKU on the alternate possession. Mayo is fouled quickly and heads to the line with a chance to make it a two possession game. He makes one of two making the score 86-82 but a three from Ledarrius Brewer, the 15th make of the night makes it a one point game at 86-85 with 21 seconds left. EKU knocks down their free throws late and six foot guard Dillon Avare blocks a tying three point attempt with ten seconds left.
Colonels win 91-88 in a must have game! They go to Morehead Saturday afternoon to finish the regular season, tip at two and can be heard on 100.7 the Coyote. Colonels are led Nick Mayo’s 25 points and 9 rebounds. JacQuess Hobbs finishes with 16 points, DeAndre Dishman 14 points and 4 assists, Dillon Avare in his final game inside Alumni Coliseum finishes with a beauty, 12 points knocking down 4 three’s, fellow senior Zach Charles adds 8 points, Weaver with 8, A.J. Youngman with 3, Lachlan Anderson 3, and Peyton Broughton with 2.
Lady Colonels fall in final home game/need help for postseason play
Lady Colonels entered their final home game in the Ohio Valley tournament, up a game over Murray State in the standings. Not bad for a team who loss nine players from last year’s team that advanced to the tournament finals, of those nine four were the top scorers on last years team. This team has nine freshman, and two sophomores and NO seniors. Tonight’s opponent Southeast Missouri was 8-8 in conference play but ineligible for postseason play due to an APR violation. These teams met back on January 13th in Cape Gerardo with the Lady Colonels committing 35 turnovers and losing 69-55. Colonels have to win tonight and Saturday at Morehead to keep the playoff hopes alive.
The game started hot for the Colonels scoring the first six points of the game. Redhawks come back after a timeout and score two quick baskets to cut the lead down to two but a Bria Bass jumper makes it 8-4 with 6:19 left in the period. Semo then goes for four in a row and with a couple of free throws they tie the game at 8. Bass scores the Colonels final four points of the quarter and after one they are up three at 14-11. Second quarter saw SEMO start off hot as they go on a 6-0 run of their own and take their first lead at 17-14. Lady Colonels would battle back but would not regain the lead before half and they trailed 27-23 at intermission. Much like the first meeting turnovers became a factor, Colonels with 13 in the half, 8 in the second period. Bass led the way in scoring with 6 all coming in the opening frame. For SEMO they had nine different player score and shot 46% in the half. Biggest stat from the stat sheet..points of turnovers, SEMO outscored Colonels 15-4.
The second half saw SEMO open up a nine point lead at 35-46 but a couple of free throws from A’Queen Hayes cut the lead back to seven. Abby Wright with a pretty spin move in the post kept the Lady Colonels close but back to back three pointers, the second one a bank shot, from Kaley Leyhue made it 45-35. Redhawks end the quarter up 53-40. Fourth quarter watched SEMO open up their lead to as many as 19 points and they defeat Eastern Kentucky 66-52. Lady Colonels led in scoring by junior Abby Wright with 18 points, Bria Bass with 12 points, Hayes with 11 points and team high 8 rebounds, Madison Wood 4 points, Shay Solomon 4 points, Brittany Grice 2, and Tae’lour Richardson a point. EKU ends with 21 turnovers and only shot 2-14 behind the three point line.
EKU will now watch the score boards and see if Eastern Illinois, last place in the Valley, can help them by knocking off Murray State. Lady Colonels with one game left in the regular season, Saturday at Morehead. That game will begin at 4:15.