EKU leads early but falls at No. 15 USC
Braxton Beverly led the Colonels with 16 points, four assists and three steals
LOS ANGELES, CA (WTVQ/EKU ATHLETICS) – Eastern Kentucky grabbed an early lead over 15th ranked Southern California, but lost 80-68 on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
The Colonels will be back in McBrayer Arena on Saturday to host Marshall. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Curt Lewis connected on a three-pointer from the right wing to put EKU in front 6-5. However, the Colonels went on a scoring drought that lasted 5:21 as the Trojans scored 12 unanswered. Eastern Kentucky started 2-for-16 from the field.
Isaiah Mobley’s two free throws with 13:04 left in the first half capped the run and put USC ahead 17-6. Russhard Cruickshank’s jumper with 10:31 on the clock ended the Colonel drought.
After falling behind by 15, 30-15, on a three-pointer from Mobley, EKU (5-5) scored six straight to get back within nine. Cruickshank’s jumper with 3:58 left in the first stanza cut the deficit to 30-21. The Trojans responded by scoring the next seven points and led by double figures the rest of the way.
Late in the game, USC took a 23-point lead, 74-51, but the Colonels didn’t fold. Eastern Kentucky went on an 11-0 run, including three straight three-pointers from Cooper Robb, Braxton Beverly and Jannson Williams, to get within 12.
Southern California (9-0) came into the game having made an average of 5.8 three-pointers per game this season. Mobley made five by himself and the Trojans finished with nine as a team.
Beverly finished with 16 points, four assists and three steals. Lewis had 11 points, six rebounds and three steals. Williams had 10 points and five rebounds. Cruickshank finished with eight points.
The Colonels forced 18 turnovers and turned it over just seven times, but shot 32 percent from the field (23-of-71) and 26 percent (10-for-39) from behind the three-point arc. EKU made all 12 of its free throw attempts.
Mobley had 23 points and 13 rebounds for USC. The Trojans hit on 54 percent from the field (32-of-59).
To view the box score, click here.