RICHMOND, Ky. – After a slow start, the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team came alive in the second half to beat Radford University, 83-75, in the Comfort Suites Invitational on Sunday at McBrayer Arena.
The Colonels (4-0) trailed by as many as 16 in the first half and were down nine, 51-42, with 14 minutes left in the game. However, EKU answered by scoring eight straight to key a 20-4 run that put the home squad in the driver’s seat. Mike DiNunno’s three-pointer with 11:28 remaining gave Eastern its first lead of the game and the Colonels never trailed again.
Corey Walden’s trey capped the run and made it a seven-point game, 62-55, with 8:44 showing on the clock. Two free throws by R.J. Price got Radford within four with just under four minutes to play but Walden answered on the other end with a dunk. After the Highlanders missed two shots on their end, Jeff Johnson fed Tarius Johnson from the top of the key for a lay-up under the basket and an eight-point advantage, 73-65.
Radford (2-3) never got closer than six the rest of the way and Eastern stretched its lead to double digits in the final minute.
Glenn Cosey led the Colonels with 20 points. DiNunno added 19 points and five assists. Walden finished with 14 points. Javonte Green led all players with 28 points and nine rebounds for Radford. Ya Ya Anderson came off the bench to contribute 14 points.
Eastern Kentucky turned 20 Radford turnovers into 23 points while the Highlanders scored just 16 points of 12 EKU miscues.
Hot shooting and Colonel turnovers allowed Radford to build that 16-point first half lead. The Highlanders made 12 of their first 17 attempts from the field (70.6 percent) while EKU turned it over six times in the first seven minutes. After a basket by Green gave Radford its second 16-point lead, with 7:52 to play in the first half, Eastern got rolling.
On the back of a three-pointer by Cosey and two from DiNunno, the Colonels used a 19-7 run to get back in the game. Eastern also cleaned up its mistakes, making only one turnover over the final 12 minutes of the first half. Two free throws by Eric Stutz and a lay-up by Cosey capped the run and made it a four-point game, 39-35, with 2:14 left in the opening half. EKU went to the locker room down by six, 43-37.
While the Colonels have concluded their play in the 2012 Comfort Suites Invitational, the event continues Monday when Towson faces Cincinnati Christian at 1 p.m. EKU returns to action on Saturday at home against Norfolk State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.