Rose goes over 1,000, leads EKU to win on the road

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team scored a season-high 87 points on its way to an 87-77 victory over host Tennessee Tech Saturday afternoon. In a game televised by nationally by ESPNU, the Colonels (11-10, 8-5 OVC) picked up their first win at Tech (10-15, 7-8) since 1998.

Junior Mike Rose was one of five EKU players to tally double figures with a team-high 21 points. The forward became the 28th Colonel to reach the 1,000-point plateau when he converted a driving lay-up five minutes into the second half. Meanwhile, sophomore Adam Leonard added 18 points and seven assists.

For Tennessee Tech, Amadi McKenzie recorded a career-best 29 points on 92.3 percent (12-of-13) shooting from the floor.

After exchanging the lead a couple of times early in the game, the Colonels took the lead for good when a Rose lay-in put EKU ahead, 12-10. A Justin Stommes three-pointer later in the stanza gave Eastern its largest lead of the half, 27-16. Leonard then beat the halftime buzzer with the team’s sixth trifecta to make the score 43-32 at the half.

Rose was 6-for-6 from the floor in the opening 20 minutes for 16 points while EKU committed just one turnover.

Eastern slowly built its cushion to 18 points, 72-54, midway through the second half when sophomore Josh Daniel netted two free throws. Tennessee Tech rallied with seven straight points in the final four minutes, but Leonard’s third three-pointer put an end to the Golden Eagle rally.

The Colonels controlled play on the glass, outrebounding Tennessee Tech by three boards and hauling in 11 offensive rebounds. In an earlier loss to TTU at home, the Golden Eagles outrebounded Eastern by 16. Rose paced the Colonels with seven rebounds while Stommes grabbed a personal-high six rebounds.

Eastern Kentucky returns home to face Murray State on Thursday, Feb. 7. That game will be televised nationally by ESPNU beginning at 9 p.m.