NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team lost 85-81 in overtime at Tennessee State University on Saturday in both team’s regular season finale.
EKU (23-8, 12-4 OVC) had two chances to win the game in the closing seconds of regulation. Mike DiNunno missed a 3-pointer but Jeff Johnson grabbed the offensive rebound. Johnson fed Glenn Cosey whose floater at the buzzer rattled in and out.
The Tigers (17-13, 11-5 OVC) opened the overtime period with an 8-3 run to take control. Kellen Thorton’s free throws with 1:23 left capped the run and gave the home team a 79-74 lead.
Eastern made just 1-of-9 attempts from the field in overtime. In the second half and overtime combined, the Colonels shot 30 percent.
DiNunno finished with a team-high 24 points to go along with six assists. Glenn Cosey added 16 points.
Thornton had 25 points. Robert Covington scored 13 and grabbed 16 rebounds. TSU out-rebounded Eastern 42-29.
The Tigers shot 71 percent in the second half as they came back from an 11-point deficit.
The Colonels will play in the OVC Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. As the No. 3 seed, Eastern Kentucky will play the winner of the game between the No. 6 Southeast Missouri and No. 7 Eastern Illinois at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville.
Post Game Notes:
**Eastern Kentucky finished the season with the second best record in the Ohio Valley Conference.
**EKU will appear in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament for the 11th straight season. EKU and Murray State are now the only two teams to have qualified for each of the last 11 OVC tournaments.
**The Colonels’ No. 3 seed will be their highest since winning the 2007 crown as the No. 2 seed.
**EKU entered the game fourth in the nation in free throw percentage (77.3 percent). The Colonels made 20-of-20 on Saturday.
**Eastern is second in the nation in turnover margin (-6.1) and turned it over nine fewer times than TSU tonight. The Colonels have averaged nine fewer turnovers than their opponents in the previous 10 games.
**Eastern Kentucky leads the all-time series 28-25. The Colonels are 11-14 in games played in Nashville.