EKU men improve in second half, pull away from NKU in overtime

In-state rivals Norse outscored 17-4 in extra period

RICHMOND, Ky. (EKU Athletics) – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team out-scored Northern Kentucky University 17-4 in overtime on its way to an 81-68 victory on Saturday at McBrayer Arena.

After exchanging baskets to start the extra frame, the Colonels (7-6) scored seven unanswered to seize control.  Braxton Beverly hit two free throws, Cooper Robb drew a charge and then nailed a 3-pointer on the other end, and Beverly connected on a lay-up to cap the spurt and give the home team a 73-66 lead (click for complete box score 2021_12-18 (Box Score vs Northern Kentucky) (1)).

Two free throws from Trevon Faulkner with 2:00 left got the Norse to within five, 73-68, but the visitors did not score again.

Robb finished with 19 points, five rebounds and four steals.  Curt Lewis had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.  Devontae Blanton added 16 points and six boards.

EKU hit five of its first nine shots to start the second half and scored the first eight points of the second stanza to erase a four-point deficit.  The Colonels trailed 32-28 at halftime.  Michael Moreno started the second with a 3-pointer.  Robb and Blanton added lay-ups, Blanton’s coming with an and-one free throw, to cap the 8-0 spurt and put the home team in front 36-32.

Northern Kentucky closed to within two on six occasions and got within one three times but didn’t retake the lead until the final 30 seconds.  With the Norse down 62-61, Marques Warrick hit a lay-up and drew a foul with 25.3 seconds left in regulation.  His free throw put NKU ahead 64-62.  Blanton hit a jumper on the other end with 16.2 ticks remaining to tie it.  Beverly had a steal in the final five seconds to force overtime.

Warrick led NKU (4-6) with 22 points on 7-of-18 shooting from the field.

In the first half, Northern Kentucky turned nine offensive rebounds into 10 second-chance points and turned nine EKU turnovers into an 11-0 advantage in points off turnovers.  In the second half and overtime, the Norse scored just two second-chance points and were out-scored off turnovers 23-7.

Eastern Kentucky will play at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island on Wednesday.  Tip-off is scheduled for 11 a.m.

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