RICHMOND, Ky. (EKU Sports) – Eastern Kentucky closed out the 2019-20 regular season with an 80-76 victory over Morehead State on Saturday at McBrayer Arena. With the win, the Colonels complete the season sweep of the Eagles.
EKU’s 12 conference wins this season are tied for the second most in program history. It is only the fourth time in program history the Colonels have won 12 or more OVC games in a season, joining the 1964-65 (13), 2006-07 (13) and 2012-13 (12) squads.
Eastern (15-16, 12-6 OVC) will play in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET live on ESPN+. The fourth seeded Colonels will play the winner between Tennessee St. and Morehead St.
Morehead State erased a 6-point Eastern Kentucky lead and went on top 58-57 when Justin Thomas connected on a lay-up with 11:43 left in the game. A MSU foul led to a media timeout with 10:30 showing on the clock. Morehead State was assessed a technical foul during the stoppage. Ty Taylor hit the two free throws for the technical and Jomaru Brown made his two free throws to turn the one-point deficit into a 62-58 lead.
Tre King made a jumper and JacQuess Hobbs hit a spinner in the lane to complete the 9-0 run and make it 66-58 with 8:27 to play.
Another jumper and a free throw from King pushed the lead to nine, 69-60. The Eagles made one more run, out-scoring the home team 12-3 to get within one, 73-72, with 3:33 remaining. Morehead State got within one again, 75-74, on a tip-in from James Baker at the 1:38 mark. Eastern Kentucky turned the ball over on its ensuing possession. MSU had two chances to take the lead – a three-point attempt with 45 seconds left and a jumper with 26 ticks to go – but neither shot fell.
Hobbs and Michael Moreno made four straight free throws to push the Colonels back in front by five, 79-74.
Brown led six Eastern players in double figures with 17 points. Taylor added 16 points and six rebounds. Moreno finished with 14 points and eight boards. King had 11 points. Russhard Cruickshank and Hobbs had 10 each.
Baker had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Morehead State (13-18, 7-11 OVC).
EKU out-scored the Eagles by five points off turnovers and out-scored the visitors by five at the free throw line.
Eastern Kentucky led by as many as 10 in the first half, going up 37-27 on a jumper from Moreno. However, the Eagles scored nine of the final 12 points of the half to draw within four, 40-36, at intermission.