Colonels Beat Eastern Illinois in Overtime for Seventh Straight Win

Sophomore Michael Moreno's three-pointer with three seconds remaining in regulation sent the game into overtime, and the Eastern Kentucky University men's basketball team held on to beat host Eastern Illinois, 93-85, on Saturday at Lantz Arena.

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Courtesy: EKU Sports

CHARLESTON, Ill.  (EKU Sports) – Sophomore Michael Moreno’s three-pointer with three seconds remaining in regulation sent the game into overtime, and the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team held on to beat host Eastern Illinois, 93-85, on Saturday at Lantz Arena.

It is EKU’s seventh consecutive win, and it makes the Colonels 12-2 (6-1 OVC) on the year. That is Eastern Kentucky’s best start since 1946-47.

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EKU led, 69-66, following a three-pointer from the corner by junior Cooper Robb with 2:58 to play in regulation. However, Eastern Illinois followed that up with a 6-0 run and went ahead by three, 72-69, after a layup by Sammy Friday IV with 1:49 on the clock.

A dunk by Barlow Alleruzzo IV with 13 seconds left made it 74-71 in favor of the Panthers.

On EKU’s ensuing possession, Robb found Moreno on the wing and he buried the triple to tie the game and force overtime.

The Colonels connected on four of their first six shots in overtime, including three-pointers from Moreno, freshmen Wendell Green Jr. and redshirt freshman Curt Lewis. Lewis’ trifecta made it 88-83 in favor of the Colonels with under two minutes to play. EIU never got closer than three points the rest of the way.

Junior Tre King led all players with 24 points in the game, despite fouling out just over a minute into overtime. He added six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks.

All five starters reached double figures for the Colonels. Lewis finished with 18 points and six boards. Green Jr. had 17 points and six assists. Robb tallied 11 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Moreno collected 10 points, seven boards and three steals.

EKU shot a season-best 52 percent (12-of-23) from three-point range in the win. The Colonels stifled the Panthers to only 21 percent (6-of-28) shooting from deep.

EKU out-rebounded EIU, 46-44, and won the turnover battle, 18-16.

The back-and-forth game featured 12 ties and 11 lead changes.

The Colonels return home to host UT Martin (Jan. 21) and Southeast Missouri (Jan. 23) next week.

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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.