EKU edges Jacksonville State in OT for ninth-straight win

Wendell Green Jr. finished with a game-high 22 points, to go along with eight assists and seven rebounds.


JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (EKU Sports) – Freshman Wendell Green Jr. banked in a three-pointer from the top of the key to force overtime, and then scored 10 points in overtime to lead the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team to an 86-82 road win at Jacksonville State on Tuesday night at Pete Mathews Coliseum.

It is EKU’s ninth consecutive win, and it improves the Colonels to 14-2 (8-1 OVC).

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Eastern trailed by eight, 71-63, with just over five minutes to play in regulation. However, the Colonels went on a 7-0 run over the next four minutes and 13 seconds. A pair of free throws by sophomore Michael Moreno capped the run and pulled EKU to within one, 71-70, with 30 seconds on the clock.

Jacksonville State’s Darian Adams was fouled with 19 ticks remaining. He made both free throws to give the Gamecocks a three-point advantage, 73-70.

On EKU’s ensuing possession, Green Jr. found himself deep off the top of the key with time dwindling and very few options. He hoisted a three-pointer with nine seconds left that banked in and tied it up.

JSU went up by two, 79-77, when Kayne Henry converted a three-point play with 3:35 on the clock in overtime. That is when EKU went on a decisive 8-0 run to seal the victory. The run included a clutch three-pointer from Green Jr. and ended with a Tariq Balogun put-back that made it 85-79 in favor of EKU with 14 seconds on the clock.

JSU pulled to within three on a three-pointer with nine seconds left, but Green Jr. sank a free throw on the other end to put it out of reach.

Green Jr. finished with a game-high 22 points, to go along with eight assists and seven rebounds.

Junior Cooper Robb posted a career-high 20 points, while Moreno recorded 15 points and seven boards. Balogun came off the bench to score a season-high 11 points.

Henry paced four Gamecocks in double figures with 22 points.

EKU won the turnover battle, 14-6, and converted those 14 JSU turnovers into 17 key points.

The Colonels were 14-of-37 (38 percent) from three-point range in the win.

EKU returns home to host Austin Peay (Feb. 4) and Murray State (Feb. 6) later this week.

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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