RICHMOND, Ky. – Visiting Murray State University never trailed on its way to a 77-64 victory over the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team Wednesday in McBrayer Arena.
This marked EKU’s (10-6, 1-2 OVC) first home loss of the season (5-1) and Murray State’s (8-7, 3-0) first road win (1-6).
The Racers scored 14 of the first 17 points in the contest and never looked back. Eastern Kentucky rallied to even the score at 19 and 21, but could never take the lead. Murray State regained control with a 10-2 run at the end of the half to take a 38-29 cushion into halftime.
Murray State’s lead would grow to as large as 18 points in the second half, 66-48, following a Jarvis Williams jumper with 6:20 left. Eastern made one final push to cut the deficit to eight points with 2:31 left, 68-60, but could get no closer.
Williams led the Racers with his seventh double-double of the season (19 points, 11 rebounds). The junior forward was perfect from the field (9-of-9). Cameron Payne added 19 points and five assists.
Murray State earned 28 trips to the free throw line compared to just eight for the Colonels. The Racers netted 19-of-28 (67.9 percent) charity shots.
EKU, which had shot better than 50 percent in its previous four games, only shot 42.6 percent (26-of-61) from the floor, including 36.7 percent in the first half.
Junior Corey Walden paced the Colonels with a season-high 24 points. Senior Tarius Johnson chipped in with a season-high 16 points as well. Meanwhile, Eastern’s top scoring threat, senior Glenn Cosey, was held to a season-low five tallies.
This was the first game between the two teams in Richmond since Dec. 2, 2010.
Rivalry Week continues for the Colonels on Saturday at Morehead State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Eastern Kentucky is ranked 20th in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25.
EKU entered the game leading the OVC in scoring defense (69.2) but had allowed 80 or more points in its previous two games.
Eastern Kentucky entered the game 5-0 at home and having won 21 of its last 22 at McBrayer Arena. Murray State entered the game 0-6 on the road.