EKU's Jaron Jones scores a career-high 30 to lead the Colonels to a 75-62 win over North Carolina Central Tuesday.
From EKU Athletics
RICHMOND, Ky. – Senior Jaron Jones poured in a career-high 30 points to lead the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team past North Carolina Central, 75-62, Tuesday night in McBrayer Arena.
EKU (5-5) led by only three, 61-58, with just over five minutes to play in the game, but the Colonels used a 14-4 run to end the game and finally silence visiting NCCU (5-4).
Jones became the first Colonel to score 30 points in a game since Mike Rose did it in a 74-70 win over Morehead State on Feb. 18, 2009. The Lexington, Ky., native shot 10-of-12 (83,3 percent) from the field and a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line to achieve the career night.
Junior D’Mitri Riggs also had a career night for the Colonels, scoring 17 second half points on 3-of-5 shooting from deep, while also recording several key steals down the stretch to help put the Eagles away. Riggs finished with seven steals, a season-high for EKU.
After shooting just 20 percent (2-of-10) from three-point range in the first half, EKU found its range in the second half, sinking 75 percent (6-of-8) of its long-range attempts to secure the win.
Landon Clement knocked down five three pointers to lead NCCU with 15 points, while Dominique Sutton chipped in with 14 points.
Jones exploded out of the gate, scoring the Colonels’ first 11 points of the game, two of which he headed into the basket on a botched offensive rebound attempt, as EKU ran out to a 16-11 lead at the second media timeout of the first half.
The Colonels’ lead fluctuated between five and seven for much of the rest of the half, until back-to-back three-pointers by Clement and Nick Chasten brought NCCU back and tied the game, 27-27, at halftime.
Jones started the second half like he started the first, scoring the Colonels’ first four points to give EKU a quick 31-27 lead out of the break. His teammates then got in on the act, though, as Riggs and junior Mike DiNunno knocked down consecutive triples to give the Colonels their largest lead of the night up to that point, 39-31, at the 16:43 mark of the second half.
NCCU responded and pulled to within one, 45-44, on a pair of free throws by Jeremy Ingram; however, a tip-in by Riggs, a steal by Riggs and a three-pointer by senior Joshua Jones on the ensuing break gave EKU a 50-44 lead and some much-needed breathing room midway through the second half.
Joshua Jones’ three-pointer sparked a run, as the Colonels knocked down their next three three-point attempts, the last of which came off the hands of Jaron Jones and gave EKU a 59-51 advantage with seven minutes to play.
Again, though, NCCU clawed back into the game and got to within three, 61-58, on another three-pointer by Clement. The quick hands of Riggs, however, came up with another big steal and a jumper on the other end that sparked EKU’s game-ending 14-4 run.
The Colonels return to action this Saturday, Dec. 10 when they host Georgia Southern at 7 p.m.