RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – A 15-0 run to start the second half sent Eastern Kentucky to a 79-68 season-opening victory over Chattanooga on Tuesday at McBrayer Arena.
EKU will make the short trip to Lexington on Friday to play No. 2 ranked Kentucky. Tip-off in Rupp Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Colonels (1-0) trailed by five at the break, 38-33. Newcomer Darius Hicks scored the first four points of the second half to draw Eastern within one. After that, Houston King exploded for nine points in three and a half minutes. His trey at the 18:56 mark put the home squad in front 40-38, and EKU never trailed again. King made two more three-pointers, the second with 15:33 left in the game pushed it to a 10-point margin, 48-38, and capped the 15-0 run.
The Mocs (0-1) got within six, 54-48, on a lay-up by A.J. Caldwell with 10:58 to go, but the visitors never got any closer.
King finished with a career-best 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. He made 4-of-5 from behind the arc and went 3-for-5 at the free throw line. In his first official game as a Colonel, Hicks turned in a double-double performance, finishing with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Jomaru Brown contributed 14 points.
Eastern Kentucky shot 60 percent (15-for-25) in the second half and 52 percent for the game. UTC made just 32 percent of its shots from the field. The Colonels held a 40-34 advantage in rebounding.