EKU loses a tough one at West Virginia 80-77

The Mountaineers outscored the Colonels 9-3 over the final four minutes of the game

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WTVQ/EKU ATHLETICS) Eastern Kentucky led for a majority of the game at West Virginia on Friday night, but the Mountaineers pulled away at the end for an 80-77 victory.

EKU (5-2) led by as many as 12 points in the first half. The Colonels took their largest lead of the second half, 55-48, on a three-pointer by Braxton Beverly with 15:16 on the clock.

WVU (5-1) responded with a 9-1 run and grabbed a 57-56 advantage with 12:42 showing. The two teams traded leads over the next nine minutes and went into the final media timeout tied at 71-71.

The Mountaineers outscored the Colonels 9-3 over the final four minutes of the game, before a three-pointer at the buzzer by Russhard Cruickshank made it 80-77.

The game featured seven lead changes.

Jannson Williams led EKU with 22 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals. He shot 5-of-8 from three-point range.

Michael Moreno and Braxton Beverly added 12 points apiece for the Colonels.

Eastern shot 49 percent from the field (27-of-55) and 48 percent from deep (14-of-29). The Colonels, meanwhile, stifled West Virginia to 22 percent shooting from behind the arc (5-of-23).

The Mountaineers, however, won the turnover battle, 17-9, and outscored Eastern in the paint, 38-22.

WVU’s Taz Sherman led all players on the night with 28 points.

EKU came out on fire, connecting on six of its first nine 3-point attempts. A triple by Williams made it 12-2 in favor of Eastern less than two minutes into the game.

The Colonels took their largest lead of the first half, 30-18, when Beverly converted a fast-break layup with 10:16 on the clock.

WVU slowly clawed back and grabbed its first advantage of the night when Sherman drained a three-pointer to make it 36-35 with 2:17 left in the first half.

EKU, however, responded with a 6-0 run, as a pull-up jumper by Moreno pushed the Colonels’ lead back out to five, 41-36, 49 ticks on the clock.

A layup by Isiah Cottrell with 13 seconds left ended the run, but Eastern Kentucky went into the locker room up at the break, 41-38.

The Colonels’ two-game road trip continues Sunday at Radford.  Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

To view the games’ box score, click here.


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