The Colonels came into the game against SEMO needing another win to inch closer to the playoff line in the Ohio Valley Conference. SEMO also entered the contest needing a win, both teams were 1-4 in conference play. EKU leads the OVC in scoring and ranks tenth nationally scoring 85.9 points a game. Colonels are also ranked third nationally in steals per game with 10.9 and fourth in turnovers forced at 19.6 per game. The team ranks tenth in turnover margin at plus 4.6 per game. History was looking to be made as Nick Mayo was only three points shy of becoming the 18th player in Ohio Valley history with 2000 points and was six rebounds short of cracking the top ten in Colonel rebounding history. For SEMO this is their eleventh game away from home in the eighteen they have played.
It didn’t take long for Nick Mayo to get his 2000th point knocking down a three a minute five seconds in the game. Colonels hit three three pointers in rout to a 10-5 but the RedHawks storm back and ties the game with 16:43 left in the half. Mayo scores four straight but as they would all night long SEMO wouldn’t go away answering with a three pointer to get within a point. Colonels stretch out to an 11 point lead with eight seconds left but SEMO gets it back under double digits before the buzzer. Eastern led 41-32 at the break. Lachlan Anderson with a solid effort off the bench for the Colonels scoring 7 points and grabbing 6 rebounds in 13 minutes of action. After the game Coach Hamilton would praise his bench for always giving his team a boost. Mayo with 12 points at the break to lead the team in scoring.
The RedHawks score eight of the first nine points to start the second half and cut the lead to a basket at 42-40. Colonels would answer as they did all night and extend their lead to eleven at 57-46. Nick Mayo grabs his seventh rebound and with that rebound he moves into tenth all time in Colonels history with 718. EKU continues to lead and with 1:33 left Cameron Carmichael commits his fifth foul as he fouls a three point shooter. SEMO knocks down all three attempts and a Nick Mayo dunk with 1:18 left put Eastern up seven points at 80-73. SEMO had no quit as they go on a 7-1 run to get within a point at 81-80 with 16 seconds left. Mayo gets the ball and is fouled, not the player you wanted to foul if you were SEMO as Mayo is shooting in the mid 80’s from the line. He promptly knocks down both attempts making it 83-80 but the next play Mayo fouls out as the RedHawk player gets the old fashioned three to tie the game at 83. With their top player out the Colonels turned to JacQuess Hobbs as he goes the length of the floor and hits the buzzer beating layup to give EKU the win!
Colonels never trailed in the game although SEMO did tie the game three times. Colonels force 12 turnovers and score 20 points off of those. With the win EKU improves to 9-10 overall and 2-4 in league play.
Nick Mayo leads the way with 24 points 8 rebounds and 4 assists, Jomaru Brown with 17 points, 14 of those in the second half, and 7 rebounds. Tre King with 10 points, Houston King 8 points, Hobbs 7 points, Lachlan Anderson 7 points and 7 rebounds off the bench, Kelvin Robinson 6 points, Cameron Carmichael 4, and DuJuanta Weaver 2 points.
Colonels host Jacksonville State Thursday at Berea College due to the All A tournament being held in Alumni Coliseum.