Colonels ignite in the second half for season-opening win, 79-68

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.

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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.

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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.

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Austin Miller joins ABC 36 Sports Team as a Sports Reporter and Weekend Anchor. Austin is from the Louisville area and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 2008. Austin graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a second concentration in German. While at IU, Austin was a blogger at Kentsterling.com and co-host, producer and engineer for WIUX, the school’s student radio station. Before coming to ABC 36, Austin was a news videographer at WLFI in West Lafayette from 2012-2015. While working with WLFI, Austin had the chance to cover the Purdue Boilermakers. He then accepted a Sports/New Reporter position at Local 4 KSNB-TV in Hastings Nebraska and was eventually promoted to sports full-time as the Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter. While at KSNB-TV, Austin covered the University of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Hastings College. After spending nearly six years away from home, Austin is excited to return to the Bluegrass State to cover the teams he grew up watching. In his spare time, Austin enjoys playing basketball, working out and cooking. If you have any story ideas or would like to say “Hello,” you can reach Austin by email at amiller@wtvq.com or direct message him on Twitter @AustinMillerTV.