RICHMOND, Ky. – Senior Mike Rose’s dunk with 52 seconds left in overtime gave the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team the lead for good as the Colonels outlasted Austin Peay Tuesday night in McBrayer Arena, 73-70. With the win, Eastern Kentucky (12-9, 5-5 OVC) snapped Austin Peay’s (12-8, 8-2) six-game conference winning streak.
Rose led all scorers with 25 points, marking the 13th time this season the guard has reached the 20-point plateau. He also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and equaled a career best with six steals. Justin Stommes recorded double figures for the fourth straight game as the sophomore chipped in with 16 points. Meanwhile, junior Josh Taylor netted 15 points, including two three-pointers near the end of regulation to help force overtime.
Four players reached double figures for the Governors led by Drake Reed’s 18 tallies. Wes Channels notched 16 points to go along with a career-high seven assists. Kyle Duncan and Caleb Brown each finished with 12 points.
The game was close throughout, featuring seven ties and 18 lead changes.
Two free throws from Reed gave Austin Peay a 50-46 edge with 3:55 left. The Colonels had gone almost 12 minutes without a field goal until a Stommes mid-range jumper made the score, 50-48. Back-to-back three-pointers from Taylor then gave Eastern a slim 54-53 edge.
After Duncan responded with a three-pointer to put the Governors back on top, 56-55, Taylor netted 1-of-2 free throws to even the score at 56-all with 1:22 left. On Austin Peay’s ensuing possession, Brown nailed a 26-foot, desperation three-pointer right before the shot clock expired to break the tie.
A Rose lay-in with 33 seconds left brought EKU to within one point, 59-58, but Austin Peay’s Anthony Campbell answered with two free throws to push the advantage back to three points with 29 seconds left.
Needing a three-pointer to force overtime, freshman Joshua Jones was fouled behind the arc with 16 seconds remaining. Jones netted all three free throw attempts to level the score one more time at 61-apiece. Austin Peay had one final shot at the win in regulation, but turned the ball over with 3.7 ticks on the clock.
In overtime, Austin Peay scored the first five points on a Campbell lay-up and Brown three-pointer. A Taylor tip-in off a missed three-point attempt by Stommes helped the Colonels claw back to within one point, 68-67, with 1:27 left. Jones then converted a break-away lay-up off an Austin Peay turnover to give EKU its first overtime lead, 69-68.
Reed briefly put the Governors back in front with two free throws before Rose’s dunk with 52 seconds left made the score 71-70 in favor of the home team.
Austin Peay turned the ball over on its final two possessions while the Colonels netted a pair of free throws to seal the victory. The Governors were forced into a season-high 23 turnovers by EKU including three times in the extra stanza.
Eastern Kentucky is back in action on Saturday, Jan. 31, with a home game against Tennessee State. Tip time is set for 8 p.m.