RICHMOND, Ky. –Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team held off Tennessee State in its regular season finale, 70-66, on Saturday. With the win EKU claims the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.
The Colonels (21-9, 11-5 OVC) will play the winner of the No. 6 Southeast Missouri/No. 7 Eastern Illinois contest on Thursday night in Nashville, Tenn. Tip time for the quarterfinal game is set for 9 p.m. ET.
Plenty of seniors contributed in their final regular season game in McBrayer Arena. Glenn Cosey and Tarius Johnson paced Eastern with 14 points. Orlando Williams added 11 points off the bench.
For Tennessee State (5-25, 4-12), Patrick Miller piled up 25 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Kennedy Eubanks added 16 points and eight boards.
An 11-1 Eastern Kentucky spurt late in the second half proved to be the difference. Cosey, who tallied his 1,000th career point at EKU tonight, hit a pair of three-pointers in the pivotal stretch that gave the Colonels a 67-57 advantage with 3:26 left.
The Tigers made a rally down the stretch and had a chance to tie the game on the final possession of regulation. Trailing 69-66, Chaed Wellian got a wide open look from the right wing, but hit the front rim with less than five seconds remaining. Cosey then hit 1-of-2 free throws to seal the victory.
Eastern Kentucky scored 13 of the first 15 points at the start of the game and never trailed in the first half. The Colonels went into the locker room ahead, 31-25. Tennessee State hung around and grabbed its first lead on a Miller jumper with 7:31 left, 51-50. A couple of ties and lead changes ensued before the Colonels put together their big run.
The Colonels went 12-2 in home games this season.
EKU’s 21 wins is the second most regular season victories in program history and is now tied for third most wins overall in program history.
Glenn Cosey had 999 points as a Colonel when he knocked down a three-pointer with 3:45 left in the game to give EKU a 10-point lead and eclipse the 1,000-point plateau. He is the 32nd member of Eastern’s 1,000-point club.
With two three-pointers, Glenn Cosey moved to seventh place on EKU’s all-time career three-pointer list with 180. He needs four more treys to tie the school’s single season record of 104.
Eastern Kentucky is 16-0 this season when holding opponents under 70 points.
Corey Walden finished with a career-best 10 rebounds.
The first time these two teams met, TSU’s Patrick Miller scored 33 points. He finished with 25 on Saturday.
Eastern Kentucky entered the game second in the OVC in three-point shooting (38.6 percent). Tennessee State entered the game second in the OVC in three-point shooting defense (33.5 percent). The Colonels shot 39.1 percent from behind the arch.
EKU entered the game first in the nation in turnover margin (+6.9) but finished with just two fewer turnovers than Tennessee State on Saturday.
EKU entered the game second in the OVC allowing 70.1 points per game. Tennessee State entered the game scoring the third fewest points (68.8 ppg) in the league.
EKU now leads the all-time series with Tennessee State, 30-25. The Colonels are 17-11 against the Tigers in games played in Richmond, including winning the last six.