NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team put Tennessee State University away early in a 94-78 victory on Thursday in Nashville.
The Tigers scored the first basket, but EKU (14-6, 5-2 OVC) went on a 15-2 run to take a 9-point lead. Eric Stutz capped the early run with a pair of baskets, including a steal at midcourt that he took the distance for a lay-up.
A hot streak from behind the arc later in the half allowed the Colonels to stretch a 10-point lead to a 21-point margin. Five straight Eastern field goals came from behind the three-point line. Jeff Johnson hit two, Glenn Cosey followed with two and Isaac McGlone finished it off for a 35-14 lead with 7:50 left in the opening half. EKU hit eight of its first 13 attempts from deep.
TSU (2-20, 1-7 OVC) got within 10 twice in the first half but Eastern Kentucky led by 13, 45-32, at the break.
EKU scored the first six points of the second half and never looked back. Another steal and basket by Stutz stretched the margin to 23, 74-51, with 9:04 left in the game.
The Colonels knocked down 13-of-25 shots from behind the three-point line for 52 percent.
Cosey finished with a team-best 24 points on 9-for-15 shooting. He hit 6-of-9 from behind the arc, had six rebounds and five assists. Tarius Johnson finished with 13. Marcus Lewis and Isaac McGlone each had 11 points.
Patrick Miller led all players with 33 points for the Tigers. Jordan Gaither came off the bench to hit five three-pointers and finish with 20 points.
Both teams shot 55 percent from the field.
The Colonels continue their two-game OVC road trip to Music City with a game at Belmont University on Saturday. The second meeting between the two teams in nine days will tip at 8 p.m. ET.
Eastern Kentucky is ranked 22nd in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25.
EKU leading scorer Glenn Cosey had shot 21.4 percent from the field (9-for-42) and 17.2 percent (5-for-29) from three-point range in his previous four games.
EKU is 8-0 this season when scoring 80-plus. The Colonels are 44-6 (.880) under Jeff Neubauer when scoring 80 or more.
Two of the previous three meetings between Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee State had gone to overtime, including both of the most recent games played at the Gentry Center.
Tennessee State’s Patrick Miller entered the game averaging 22.1 points per game, 10th best in the nation. He finished with 33 points.
EKU entered the game fourth in the nation in steals (184) and fifth with an average of 9.7 per game. The Colonels had just six steals on Thursday.
Tennessee State entered the game allowing 76.3 points per game this season.
TSU entered the game having shot 26.5 percent from three-point range this season. The Tigers made 52.9 percent (9-of-17) on Thursday.
Eastern has the second-best turnover margin in the nation (+7.1), but finished with five fewer turnovers than TSU tonight.
Eastern Kentucky now leads the all-time series with Tennessee State, 29-25. The Colonels are 12-14 on the Tigers’ home court.