EKU Men’s Basketball begin season with win over North Florida

The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team defeated North Florida, 80-67

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EKU Athletics

RALEIGH, N.C. (EKU Athletics) – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team defeated North Florida, 80-67, in its season opener on Wednesday evening at the Mako Medical Wolfpack Invitational.

Junior Tre King led a balanced scoring effort for EKU (1-0), posting a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. He added four steals and two blocks.

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Three other Colonels reached double figures in their EKU debuts. Redshirt freshman Curt Lewis had 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, despite playing only 18 minutes. Freshman Wendell Green Jr. contributed 12 points, six assists and two steals. Junior Cooper Robb – a transfer from UNC Charlotte – went for 10 points, eight boards and a team-best five steals in his EKU debut.

In all, nine Colonels scored in the game.

Eastern shot only 35.4 percent from the field (29-of-82) and 18 percent from deep (5-of-28); however, the Colonels forced North Florida (0-1) into 21 turnovers and out-rebounded the Ospreys, 50-40, on the night.

Carter Hendricksen paced UNF with 20 points and seven rebounds.

North Florida jumped out to an 8-0 lead, and the Ospreys grabbed a 19-11 advantage when Hendricksen knocked down a triple with 14:08 left in the first half.

Eastern, however, responded with an 11-0 run. A three pointer by Green Jr. at the 11:59 mark gave the Colonels their first lead of the game. They never trailed again.

A thunderous dunk by sophomore Tariq Balogun sent EKU into the locker room at halftime up by 16, 50-34.

A layup by Robb with 5:24 left in the game gave the Colonels their largest lead of the night, 78-54.

EKU returns to action on Friday when the Colonels square off against Charleston Southern in their final game of the Wolfpack Invitational. Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com