EKU falls to the top-seed Belmont, 60-50

Eastern Kentucky suffered a 60-50 loss to No. 1 seed Belmont in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament semifinals on Friday at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (EKU Sports) – Eastern Kentucky suffered a 60-50 loss to No. 1 seed Belmont in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament semifinals on Friday at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.

The fourth seeded Colonels (16-17, 12-6 OVC) cut a 9-point halftime deficit to seven twice early in the second half, but could not hit enough shots to get closer. Tre King’s jumper with 16:35 showing on the clock made it a 34-27 game, but the Bruins scored the next seven points to double their lead. Ben Sheppard’s lay-up at the 13:54 mark stretched the margin to 14, 41-27.

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Eastern Kentucky’s defense gave the squad one more chance to get back in the game. After Seth Adelsperger’s lay-up with 13 minutes remaining put the Belmont lead back to 14, the Bruins went nearly four minutes without scoring again. The Colonels scored just five points during that time. Lachlan Anderson’s old-fashioned three-point play cut it to nine, 43-34. Grayson Murphy’s jumper at the 9:10 mark ended the Belmont drought and the top seed led by double figures the rest of the way.

EKU held the Bruins (25-7, 15-3 OVC) to their second-lowest field goal percentage of the season, 34 percent, including just 7-of-30 (23 percent) from behind the arc. However, the Colonels managed to hit on just 30 percent from the field and went 5-for-12 at the free throw line.

Russhard Cruickshank had a team-high 15 points for Eastern Kentucky. He hit on 4-of-6 from long range. Jomaru Brown scored 12 points and hauled in nine rebounds.

Eastern turned 14 offensive rebounds into 20 second-chance points and out-scored Belmont 16-13 in points off turnovers.

Adam Kunkel led the Bruins with 15 points. Murphy scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

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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.