Golden Eagles handed 69-54 loss by Eastern Kentucky

Golden Eagles handed 69-54 loss by Eastern Kentucky

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky used a 16-2 run early in the second half to convert a tight game into a comfortable victory Thursday night, as the Colonels rolled to a 69-54 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Tennessee Tech.

Marcus Lewis keyed the run as the Colonels went from a three-point, 28-25 lead to a 17-point advantage, 44-27, with 14:20 remaining. EKU led by at least 14 points the balance of the game. EKU shot 70.8 percent (17-for-24) in the second half.

Corey Walden led EKU with 18 points, going 5-for-7 from the field including both his 3-point attempts, and 6-for-6 at the free throw line. He also grabbed six steals. Glenn Cosey added 14 points while Lewis finished with 10. Mike DiNunno had nine points and also managed six steals, helping to force 22 Golden Eagle turnovers.

Senior Jud Dillard was the game’s top scorer with 21 points and also had eight rebounds. Lanerryl Johnson finished with 14 points while Javon McKay added seven points and a game-high nine rebounds.

The Colonels (23-7/12-3 OVC) came into the contest following a 22-point loss to Valparaiso Saturday in a BracketBuster game, but the non-conference setback didn’t slow EKU. Before that loss, the Colonels had strung together a six-game winning streak and now have won seven of their last eight.  

Tech (11-17/4-11 OVC) had won four straight at home before Thursday’s loss.

The Golden Eagles came back from a deep hole in the first half, and pulled to within two points at the intermission, 25-23. Tech had 11 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes, and EKU took advantage by posting an 11-2 advantage in points off turnovers.

The Colonels surged to a 10-point lead midway through the first half, 17-7, using a 9-0 run including 3-pointers by Jeff Johnson and Timmy Knipp.

Jud Dillard scored three consecutive baskets to spark Tech’s comeback, and Javon McKay’s thundering slam dunk made it a four-point difference, 23-19, with 2:05 to play.

Glenn Cosey fed Knipp for a dunk that gave EKU a 25-19 lead, before Tech scored the final two baskets of the half, another dunk form McKay and a jumper by Lanerryl Johnson.

After the second half run had put Tech in another deep hole, the Golden Eagles couldn’t find a combination for another comeback, with foul trouble and more turnovers providing the major obstacles.  That and EKU’s 70 percent shooting effort.

EKU finished with a 27-7 margin in points off turnovers, while Tech had a 34-20 advantage in rebounds. 

The regular season comes to a close Saturday night when Morehead State (which scored 101 points Thursday at Tennessee State) invades Eblen Center for the second game of a doubleheader. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. as Tech celebrates Senior Night. Jud Dillard and Terrell Barnes will be recognized in pregame activities.

For tickets or information about the game, please visit or call the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center (931-372-3940).