RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team led by as many as five points in the first half, but allowed Tennessee State University to string together a big run at the end of the first and the beginning of the second half, in a 73-60 loss on Saturday at McBrayer Arena.
With the game tied 19-19, Nick Mayo hit a jumper and then nailed a three-pointer to give EKU a five-point advantage, 24-19, with 6:35 remaining in the first half. However, Tennessee State ended the first half on a 13-4 run. The Tigers then started the second half by stretching the run to 25-8. When Armani Chaney put in a lay-up with 15:22 left in the game to cap the run, TSU had a 12-point lead, 44-32.
Mayo tried to bring the Colonels back. He scored seven points during a 9-2 run to make it a five-point game, 46-41, with 12:24 left to play. The junior hit a baseline jumper, a three-pointer from the right wing and a jumper in the paint to key the spurt.
Eastern (8-17, 2-10 OVC) never got any closer the rest of the way.
Mayo finished with a game-best 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field to go along with sixh rebounds, three steals and a block. Zach Charles made 6-of-8 from the floor, including both three-point attempts, and 3-of-4 from the stripe to finish with 17 points.
Delano Spencer led Tennessee State with 20 points. Christian Mekowulu contributed 19 points. Darreon Reddick had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tigers (12-11, 7-5 OVC) hit on 50 percent of their shots while the Colonels connected on 42 percent. TSU held a 36-25 rebounding advantage.
Eastern Kentucky continues its four-game home stand on Thursday against Tennessee-Martin. The game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.