Colonels open the 2019/20 season at home against a good Chattanooga team. The Mocs return three starters and six letterman. EKU roster has seven new faces on it and they are without All American Nick Mayo for the first time in four seasons.
Colonels get to work early scoring the first basket from Jomaru Brown but that would be all that Brown would contribute in the half as he was saddled with two fouls early and had to sit the final 13:49. Five ties and two lead changes in the half with Houston King getting fouled on a three pointer and giving the Colonels the lead 22-21. Ramon Villa tipped in a basket at the buzzer to put Chattanooga up 38-33 at the break. Houston King with 9 points to lead the Colonels. EKU are forced into thirteen turnovers which resulted into twelve Moc points. Vanderbilt transfer Matt Ryan led the way for Chattanooga with 11 points and 5 rebounds.
Whatever Coach Hamilton said at halftime woke his team up as EKU opens on a 15-0 run to take 48-38 lead. Chattanooga finally scored nearly five minutes into the half. During that stretch EKU held the Mocs to 0-9 shooting while knocking down four of their first five. Jomaru Brown picked up his third foul at the 14:25 mark but the Colonels didn’t miss a beat. Newcomer Russhard Cruickshank banked in a three pointer for his first career basket and the Colonels took the lead fifty seven seconds into the half and never trailed again winning 79-68.
Even with foul trouble Jomaru Brown is able to score double figures for 25th time as a Colonel scoring 14 in 20 minutes of action. He was one of three Colonels to reach double digit scoring. Darius Hicks with a double double in his debut scoring 18 and grabbing 11 boards. Houston King with 19 to lead the scoring. Senior Lachlan Anderson off the bench with 7 points and 9 rebounds off the bench. Tre King with 9 points, Ty Taylor with 2, Russha Cruickshank with 6 points and JacQuess Hobbs with 4.
Colonels shoot 52% from the floor in the win while holding Chattanooga to only 32% shooting. Colonels next game is at Rupp Arena against #2 Kentucky. The next home game is Tuesday November 12th against Ohio University Chillicothe.