WOLLONGONG, Australia – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team overcame an 11-point fourth quarter deficit, but fell to the Wollongong Hawks, 106-99, in overtime at The Snakepit.
Eastern led by one before a 14-2 run gave the Hawks an 11-point lead, 80-69. However, the Colonels didn’t fold. EKU scored nine unanswered, including a pair of dunks by Corey Walden, to close within two.
Two 3-pointers keyed an 8-2 Wollongong run that put the home team back in front by eight, 88-80. Eastern’s Isaac McGlone and Timmy Knipp connected on back-to-back three-pointers to draw their team within two. Walden made a lay-up and was fouled with 24.1 seconds remaining. His ensuing free throw put the visitors ahead 89-88.
Tyson Demos made three free throws at the other end to swing the lead back in the Hawks’ favor. Jaylen Babb-Harrison’s driving lay-up in the closing seconds tied the score and sent the game to overtime.
Wollongong seized control in the extra period by scoring six of the first eight points. The Hawks led by eight, 103-95, before Walden scored and Robbie Stenzel converted a steal into a lay-up to make it a four-point game. That is as close as the Colonels would get.
The lead changed hands 26 times in the game and the score was tied 15 times.
Walden finished with 28 points, eight steals, three rebounds and two assists. He made 11-of-21 from the field (52 percent). Knipp finished with 19 points, four rebounds and three assists. Eric Stutz contributed 11 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and two blocks.
EKU was out-rebounded by 24, but forced 34 turnovers off 19 steals. The Colonels attempted 27 more shots than the Hawks. Despite being out-rebounded, Eastern was only out-scored in the paint by six.
The Colonels shot 42 percent from the field, 28 percent from three-point range (11-of-40) and 90 percent at the charity stripe (18-of-20).
Tim Coenraad scored a game-best 32 for Wollongong. He also had eight rebounds and six assists. Demos finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, but he turned the ball over 11 times.
The Hawks play in Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL). Wollongong went 13-15 during the 2013-14 season that ended in March.
McGlone (14), Babb-Harrison (13) and Stenzel (12) also scored in double figures.
The Colonels will be back in action on Monday when they play the Suncoast Clippers in Brisbane. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. local and 6:30 a.m. ET.