Happy returns, Tech topples EKU

Happy returns, Tech topples EKU

Former Georgetown College head coach Happy Osborne returned as an assistant with Tennessee Tech and left with an 82-65 win over EKU.
Former Georgetown College head coach Happy Osborne returned as an assistant with Tennessee Tech and left with an 82-65 win over EKU.

RICHMOND, Ky. - When Tennessee Tech visited Richmond Thursday night to face Eastern Kentucky University, it marked a homecoming of sorts for Tech assistant Happy Osborne. The former longtime Georgetown College head coach is in his first year under his former Georgetown assistant, Tech head man Steve Payne. And Payne's Golden Eagles brought the pain, helping Osborne exit his Old Kentucky Home happy, with an 82-65 win over EKU.

From EKU Athletics
Tennessee Tech’s Kevin Murphy poured in a career-high 34 points to lead the visiting Golden Eagles past the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team, 82-65, Thursday night in McBrayer Arena. It was the Colonels’ first home loss of the season (8-1).

After trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half, EKU (12-10, 5-4 OVC) used a pair of three-pointers by senior Joshua Jones and sophomore Jeff Johnson to pull within three of Tennessee Tech (13-8, 5-3 OVC) at 48-45 with 11:43 to play. However, the Colonels did not connect on another field goal until the 3:41 mark, a drought that allowed the Golden Eagles to pull away and claim the Ohio Valley Conference road victory.

Senior Jaron Jones led EKU with 23 points and five rebounds, while freshman big man Eric Stutz contributed with 13 points in the paint.

Murphy, the OVC Preseason Player of the Year, got his 34 points on 11-of-19 shooting (57.9 percent) from the field and 4-of-7 shooting (57.1 percent) from deep. The senior also converted all eight of his free throws. Jud Dillard scored 14 points and grabbed a team-high nine boards for the Golden Eagles.

As a team, Tennessee Tech shot 56 percent (24-for-43) from the field and 58 percent (7-for-12) from three-point range.

The Golden Eagles shot nearly 60 percent (13-for-22) from the field in the first half and took its largest lead, 36-20, on a pair of Murphy free throws with a little more than two minutes on the clock. An old-fashioned three-point play by Stutz, however, sparked EKU on a 6-0 run to close out the half as the Colonels went into the locker room at the break down by just 10, 36-26.

TTU built its lead back to 14 points, 45-31, early in the second half, only to see EKU explode on a 10-0 run, capped by consecutive three-pointers by Joshua Jones and Johnson, that brought the Colonels all the way back to within three, 48-45, at the 11:43 mark.

That was as close as EKU would get, though, as the Golden Eagles responded with an 18-5 run to take a commanding double-digit lead that they would not relinquish.

EKU returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Tennessee State. Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.
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