EKU secures come from behind win over Kennesaw State

Colonels knock off Kennesaw State 77-74

RICHMOND, Ky. – (EKU Sports) – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team trailed by 13 midway through the first half and by nine at halftime, but staged a second half comeback to beat first place Kennesaw State University, 77-74, on Saturday at Baptist Health Arena.

Devonate Blanton led the Colonels (16-9, 9-3 ASUN) with a game-best 24 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists.  Tayshawn Comer finished with 15 points.  Leland Walker added 14 points, three assists, three steals and three rebounds.

Richmond native Isaiah Cozart broke the program record for blocks in a season, finishing with four on the night to go along with 10 points and five rebounds.  Cozart has 57 blocks on the season, surpassing Nick Mayo’s mark of 55 set in the 2018-19 season.

Defensive pressure limited Kennesaw State (18-7, 10-2 ASUN) to 4-for-14 shooting from the field to start the second half as the Colonels staged their comeback.  Cozart’s lay-up closed a nine-point halftime deficit to five, 46-41.  A basket by Walker with 15:53 to go made it a four-point game, 49-45.  Blanton’s two free throws with 13:15 on the clock got the Colonels within two, 54-52.  Trailing by one with 9:33 remaining, Comer hit one of two free throws to tie the score for the first time, 56-56.  Comer’s lay-up gave EKU its first lead, 58-56, with 8:55 left in the game.

With the game tied at 60-60, Blanton nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner with 7:53 to play and the Colonels led the rest of the way.

Walker’s 3-pointer from the left corner staked the home team to an eight-point lead, 70-62, with 5:32 to go.  KSU drew within one, 73-72, on a bucket from Terrell Burden with 13 seconds left in the game.  Comer and Blanton hit all four free throw attempts in the closing seconds.  Burden missed a shot at the buzzer that would have tied it.

Burden finished with 16 points and 10 assists.  Brandon Stroud had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

EKU shot 52 percent in the second half while holding Kennesaw State to 31 points on 33 percent shooting from the field.

The Owls scored the first eight points of the game and led 13-2 after a lay-up from Stroud with 14:40 left in the first half.  Six straight from the Colonels made it a five-point game, 13-8, but Quincy Ademokoya and Simeon Cottle hit a pair of threes to key an 8-0 run that pushed the visitors ahead by 13, 21-8, with 10:44 left before intermission.  EKU started 2-of-14 from the field.

Behind seven points from Blanton, the Colonels used a 9-0 run to get within four.  Blanton’s old-fashioned three-point play capped it and had the home team down 21-17.

KSU pulled back in front by 11 three times, including at 36-25 on another lay-up from Stroud with 2:51 left in the first half.  The Owls led by nine, 43-34, at the half.

The Colonels shot 37 percent in the first half, but just 2-of-12 (17 percent) from deep.  Kennesaw State made 58 percent of its first half shots.

The Colonels hit the road to face Queens University of Charlotte and Liberty next week.  Thursday’s game against the Royals is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Categories: Basketball, EKU, Sports