EKU defeats UNF, 67-58
The Colonels take down the Ospreys to win their second consecutive conference game.
LEXINGTON, KY (EKU Athletics)-Eastern Kentucky held North Florida scoreless for nearly six minutes and scored 19 straight points in a first-half run that sparked the Colonels to a 67-58 ASUN victory over the Ospreys on Saturday night in McBrayer Arena.
EKU took an early 8-5 lead as the Colonel defense forced North Florida to miss eight of its first 10 shots from the field. Defense continued to dominate throughout the first half until a bank shot and a three-pointer on back-to-back possessions from Jomaru Brown put the Colonels ahead 18-10 with 8:47 left in the half. Cooper Robb and Michael Moreno followed with a pair of treys to cap a 19-0 Colonel run that made the score 28-10 with 5:12 remaining in the half.
The Ospreys rallied to cut Eastern’s lead to 10 at the 3:11 mark, but EKU rattled off seven straight points to go up 37-20 with 2:01 to play before halftime. Michael Wardy added a pair of baskets to put EKU up 41-26 at the half.
The Colonels led by as many as 17 early in the second half and held a 58-41 lead following a Curt Lewis three-pointer with 8:14 left in the game. North Florida put together its best rally of the half, scoring seven consecutive points to cut the deficit to 10 at the 6:56 mark. Devontae Blanton answered with a jumper to put Eastern back up by a dozen. EKU would not score another field goal until Robb’s layup with 30 seconds to play, but the Colonel defense kept UNF at bay as EKU secured its second consecutive conference victory.
Blanton led EKU with 21 points and nine rebounds, while Brown added 12 points and Robb chipped in 11. Russhard Cruickshank tallied a team-high eight assists.
The Colonels shot 25-of-55 (45.5 percent) from the floor for the game and held UNF to 10-of-31 (32.3 percent) shooting in the first half. EKU went 9-of-20 (45.0 percent) from long-range and scored 20 points off of 22 North Florida turnovers.
Eastern Kentucky visits Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday for a 5:00 p.m. contest.