The EKU Colonels opened their 2018-19 season at home in front of a near sell out crowd of 5189 fans. The crowd was loud, students filled the Coliseum and the Colonels played hard. The opponent was the #25 team in the country the Thundering Herd of Marshall. Coach Dan D’Antoni has his team coming off back to back 20 win seasons and last season they picked up their first win in the NCAA tournament when they knocked off the 4th seeded Wichita State. Coach Hamilton played for the Herd in college and coming he knew how tough the game could be. This is the 43rd meeting between the two teams with EKU leading the series 23-19. Nick Mayo enters the season as the 8th leading scorer in Colonel history and sits at #19 on the rebounding list all time.
The game saw Marshall get out to a 6-3 lead but a dunk by All OVC player Nick Mayo and a jumper from Lachlan Anderson gave Eastern a 7-6 early lead. The lead went to 10-8 and that was the last time Colonels would lead. Eastern goes cold from the field not scoring for nearly four minutes with Marshall going on a 13-0 run to get out to a 27-12 lead. Colonels were cold from the floor in the opening half (13-42 from the field 2-18 in three’s). Eastern would trail by as many as 24 in the half but got with 43-31. Nick Mayo with a dunk with 30 seconds left made it 54-38 but a three with 6 ticks left made the halftime score 57-38. Mayo had 21 points and 11 rebounds but no other Colonel had more than 4 points at half. Marshall was paced by all conference players, CJ Burks with 19 and Jon Elmore had 13. Marshall had 10 fast break points and doubled the Colonels in points off turnovers at 18-9.
The second half saw Marshall score the first seven points of the half, a 10-0 run with the three to end the half, and they held Eastern to only a basket for the first 5 minutes of the half. A basket from Marshall made it 71-40 and the Colonels went on a 13-0 run to get back within 18 points at 71-53. With 7 minutes left EKU was down 81-59 but Marshall goes on another run (17-5) to end any comeback attempt from the Colonels and they win it 105-77.
EKU shoots 26-80 for the game (32.5%) and only connect on 3-27 from beyond the three-point line. They shoot 61 % from the free throw line (22-36). They only commit 6 turnovers in the second half and finish with 17 for the game. Nick Mayo finishes with a team high 26 points and 15 rebounds. The rebounds are a new career high for the senior. The “Maine Attraction” now sits at #6 on the all time scoring list passing Eddie Bodkin and Carl Brown and is tied for 16th on the rebounding list with Charlie Mitchell. Junior Kelvin Robinson scores 13 and grabs 7 boards. He also dishes 2 assist. Freshman Jomaru Brown has 11 points in his Colonel debut, Lachlan Anderson with 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals off the bench, Dujuanta Weaver chips in 7 points and 7 rebounds, Jordan Oakley with 5 points and 6 rebounds, Peyton Broughton, JacQuess Hobbs, and Houston King with 2 points each, and Tre King with a point. Colonels return to action Saturday night at Chattanooga with the tip set for 7:00. You can catch Colonel basketball all season long on the flagship station of Colonels athletics the Coyote 100.7 FM