PIKEVILLE, KY. – Six different Miners reached double figures in the scoring column Monday night as host East Kentucky defeated Pittsburgh 119-110 at the Expo Center in a CBA American Conference matchup between two very familiar rivals. Josh Pace and Bryant Northern scored 20 points apiece as the Miners successfully defended their home floor. Pittsburgh had a six-game winning streak snapped as a result of the setback.
Playing out of a reserve role, Northern scored his 20 points in only 17 minutes.
“I felt like we played hard, rebounded well and got up and down the floor against a very good basketball team,” said East Kentucky Coach Kevin Keathley. “Having six different players in double figures scoring is tremendous. This is a very unselfish basketball team and it shows in the scoring column.”
East Kentucky, which improved to 14-13 after winning its second straight game, won the quarter points 4.5-2.5.
“We have to continue to put four quarters together,” Keathley added. “It’s very important that we finish games strong.”
East Kentucky prevailed despite committing 25 turnovers.
“In order to continue to be successful we have to take better care of the basketball,” Keathley confided.
The Miners shot at a blistering clip, hitting 59.5-percent of their attempts from the field. The East Kentucky professional basketball team shot 66.7-percent from behind the three-point line. The Miners converted on 27-of-32 free throw attempts.
East Kentucky jumped out in front early, establishing a double-digit lead in the opening quarter. The Miners outscored Pittsburgh 33-20 in the opening quarter and entered halftime out in front 57-46.
All 10 active East Kentucky players got into the scoring column as part of a balanced offensive effort.
Boo Jackson turned in a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Miners.
Jason McLeish finished with 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in host East Kentucky’s winning effort.
Mike Dean, the latest acquisition for the Miners, contributed 16 points, four rebounds and two assists. Ed Horton had 10 points for the Miners.
East Kentucky led 85-74 at the end of the third quarter.
Shaun Fountain led the way for Pittsburgh with a game-high 26 points.
Pittsburgh also had six different players reach double figures in the column column. Carl Krauser scored 22 points, John DeGroat dumped in 19 and new addition John Strickland added 18 for visiting Pittsburgh. Chaz McCrommon and Tyrone Anderson tossed in 10 points apiece for the Xplosion (15-12).
The Miners will visit Texas for a two-game series versus Rio Grande Valley Friday, Jan. 18-Saturday, Jan. 19. Tip-off for each of the upcoming road games is set for 7:05 p.m.