Colonels close out regular season with win over Tennessee St., 89-84

Eastern Kentucky was tied with Tennessee State with less than seven minutes to play, but the Colonels put the game away with a 13-5 run to secure an 89-84 victory, their 21st of the season.

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Courtesy: EKU Sports

RICHMOND, Ky. (EKU Sports) – Eastern Kentucky was tied with Tennessee State with less than seven minutes to play, but the Colonels put the game away with a 13-5 run to secure an 89-84 victory, their 21st of the season.

Eastern Kentucky (21-6, 15-5) will begin play at the 2021 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament on Thursday in Evansville.  The third seeded Colonels will play No. 6 seed Austin Peay at 10:30 p.m. ET.  The game will air live on ESPN+.

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Wendell Green Jr. finished with a game-best 23 points to go along with five rebounds, five assists and one steal.  He made 5-of-11 from the field, but connected on 12-of-13 from the free throw line.  Curt Lewis added 20 points.

Monty Johal’s jumper for Tennessee State (4-19, 3-17 OVC) tied the game 71-71 with 6:22 left to play.  The basket also completed a TSU comeback from 14 points down early in the second half.

EKU’s game-securing run began with a lay-up on the other end from Lewis.  King’s jumper in the paint put the home team up four 75-71.  The Tigers closed within one, 75-74, on two free throws from Josh Linder with 4:52 showing on the clock.

Eastern scored nine of the next 11 points to cap the 13-5 run.  A jumper and free throw from Green made it 82-76.  Two more from the charity stripe by Green with 2:08 to go finished it off and put the Colonels in front 84-76.

EKU made 5-of-6 at the line to close out the game.

Tennessee State shot 53 percent for the game, compared to 44 percent for Eastern Kentucky, but the Colonels finished 27-of-28 at the free throw line and out-scored TSU by 13 at the stripe.

Mark Freeman had a team-high 21 for the Tigers.  Johal finished with 17 points.

Eastern scored seven of the first eight points of the second half to stretch an eight-point halftime lead to 14, 50-36.  Tennessee State got back into the game by answering with a 13-3 run to close the gap to four, 53-49, with 16:02 left in the game.

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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.