MVP Sports Channel

Colonels Storm Back in the Second Half to Defeat JSU

Eastern Kentucky University Athletics

RICHMOND, Ky. – Sophomore Nick Mayo had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team past visiting Jacksonville State, 68-65, on Thursday night at McBrayer Arena.

Jacksonville State (16-14, 8-7 OVC) led by as many as 11 points in the second half, as Malcolm Drumwright buried a three-pointer to make it 44-33 with 14:57 remaining in the game.

However, EKU (11-19, 4-11 OVC) stormed back, using a 13-2 run to tie it up, 46-46, when Mayo converted a three-point play with 10:33 on the clock.

The Gamecocks made another bid to put the game away by stretching their lead back to six, 56-50, following a jumper by Christian Cunningham. But the Colonels kept clawing back.

A three-pointer in the corner by senior Isaac McGlone tied it, 59-59, with 4:41 showing. Less than a minute later, freshman Asante Gist found Mayo on the break for a thunderous dunk that ignited the McBrayer crowd and gave EKU the lead for good, 61-59.

With Eastern up by two, 67-65, and 11 seconds remaining, Gist missed two free throws that would have iced the game. However, junior Zach Charles blocked JSU’s potential game-tying layup attempt on the other end. Mayo retrieved the rebound, was fouled, and sank one free throw seal it.

Mayo scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half. The 6-9 forward from Maine is now only six points shy of 1,000 for his career. He would be the first EKU player ever to reach 1,000 career points as a sophomore.

Gist added 16 points and matched a career-high with six assists. He also grabbed three rebounds and came up with two steals. McGlone contributed 13 points and two assists in the win.

Charles had only two points, but delivered six rebounds and a career-best five blocks, including the game-sealer in the waning seconds.

EKU won the turnover battle, 13-9, and stifled JSU to 36 percent (23-of-64) shooting from the field. The Colonels, meanwhile, shot 48 percent (21-of-44) from the floor.

JSU’s Greg Tucker led all players in the game with 24 points, while Cunningham chipped in 14 points and eight boards.

Eastern maintained a narrow lead for most of the first half, but JSU closed the half on a 7-2 run and a pair of free throws by Tyrik Edwards sent the Gamecocks into the locker room at the break up by five, 29-24.

JSU carried that momentum into the second half, using an early 15-4 run to grab its largest lead of the game, 44-33, at the 14:57 mark of the second half.

That is when EKU began its comeback for the win.

The Colonels will host Tennessee Tech in their season finale on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. The game will air live from McBrayer Arena on the American Sports Network.

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