EKU Colonels come back from 20 down but can’t pull out win

Men's basketball falls on the road at Central Arkansas

CONWAY, Ark. (EKU Athletics) – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team cut a 20-point first half deficit to three in the second half, but lost at the University of Central Arkansas, 83-76, on Saturday.

The Colonels went up 7-5 on a lay-up from Michael Moreno with 15:14 left in the opening half, but EKU scored only two more points over the next 8:26 as the Bears rolled off a game-changing 24-2 run.  Eddy Kayouloud started it with a jumper.  A 3-pointer by Camren Hunter and a jumper from Jaxson Baker, with 7:09 on the clock in the first, capped it and put the home squad ahead 29-9.

UCA also led by 20, 33-13, with 2:57 to go before intermission.

Eastern Kentucky rattled off an 11-0 run, five of which came from Devontae Blanton.  A dunk from Curt Lewis got the Colonels within single digits, 33-24.  UCA took a 40-26 lead into the locker room at the break.

Hot shooting from Moreno early in the second half got EKU close again.  His two 3-pointers, the second with 16:26 left in the game got the Colonels within seven, 48-41.  Moreno scored 10 of Eastern Kentucky’s first 15 points in the second half.

After UCA went in front by 16, the Colonels (12-16, 4-10 ASUN) made one more late run.  Following a free throw from Masai Olowokere with 3:28 left to play that gave the Bears a 75-65 lead, EKU scored nine of the next 11 to get within three.  Blanton had a pair of lay-ups and Moreno’s 3-pointer from the left wing with 1:06 to go made it 77-74.

Central Arkansas (9-17, 6-7 ASUN) went 4-for-4 at the free throw line after that to secure the victory.

Moreno hit on 7-of-14 from the field, including 3-of-6 from deep, to finish with 19 points.  He also had seven rebounds and three steals.  Blanton finished with 15 points and seven boards.  Lewis had 12 points and 10 boards.

Chatham led all players with 36 points, on 14-of-21 shooting, and 16 rebounds for Central Arkansas.

EKU plays its final road game of the regular season on Wednesday against Jacksonville State at 7 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased for EKU’s final home game of the regular season, Feb. 26 against Bellarmine, at EKUSports.com/MBBTix.

Categories: Basketball, EKU, News, Sports

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