RICHMOND, Ky. – The Tennessee Tech men’s basketball
team had their four-game win streak come to an end Thursday night
when they visited Eastern Kentucky, and left with a 76-58 loss in
Ohio Valley Conference action.
The Colonels broke the game open at the close of the first half with a 7-0 run that gave them a 39-23 halftime lead. EKU was hot from behind the 3-point line, hitting 13-of-27 3-point attempts in the game, and also controlled the glass, out-rebounding Tech 32-26.
“I was disappointed in how physical they were and how we responded to that,” TTU head coach Mike Sutton said. “I think that’s telling in the rebounding statistics. We know they’re going to shoot 3-pointers. They’re averaging 10 per game, and they’re going to get their shots.”
Tech was led in scoring by Kevin Murphy, who finished with 16 points, scoring in double figures for the 16th consecutive contest. Murphy also led Tech with 7 rebounds. Elijah Muhammad had 14 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Golden Eagles.
The loss is the first for the Golden Eagles since falling at Murray State on Jan. 16. Tech is now 12-11 on the season and 6-6 in the OVC. Eastern Kentucky improves to 16-8 on the season and 8-4 in the league. EKU improves to 12-1 at home this season.
The Golden Eagles were plagued by turnovers, giving the ball up 13 times, which led to 19 EKU points. The Colonels also got 30 points off three pointers and 22 points in the paint.
EKU’s lead ballooned to 28 points when the Colonels opened the second half on a 14-2 run. Tech chipped away to get the final difference down to 18 points.
The Colonels got a huge spark from Josh Daniel, who scored a career high 17 points. Daniel, who was averaging 5.7 points per game entering the contest, shot 4-of-6 from long distance. EKU also got 19 points from Papa Oppong. The win gives the Colonels a season sweep of Tech, as EKU won in Cookeville on Jan. 9.
Jud Dillard added nine points for the Golden Eagles, Frank Davis added five, Byron Pickens finished with four and Alfred Jones and Charles Newton each had two.
The Golden Eagles will be back in action Saturday night when the travel to take on Morehead State. Tip-off of that game will be 7 p.m. Central. Tech will visit Austin Peay on Feb. 9 before returning home for a pair of games against Murray State on Feb. 11 and UT Martin on Feb. 13.
For ticket information contact the Golden Eagle athletics ticket office at (931) 372-3940 or visit TTUsports.com.