SUTHERLAND, Australia. – In its first game of a four-game tour of Australia, the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team lost 76-65 to the Sydney Kings at the Sutherland Basketball Stadium.
The Colonels overcame a 7-point halftime deficit to take a 43-42 lead in the third quarter. However, the Kings rolled off 11 unanswered and never trailed again. Jaylen Babb-Harrison’s three-pointer gave EKU its one point lead before Sydney went on its big run.
Senior Corey Walden tied for the game-high with 20 points. He also had nine rebounds, six assists and two steals before fouling out with 5:22 left in the game. Babb-Harrison, a redshirt sophomore, scored 16 points while senior Eric Stutz contributed 11 points and seven rebounds.
Eastern Kentucky shot only 31 percent (22-of-70) from the field. The Colonels made just 2-of-16 from behind the three-point line in the first half (13 percent) and finished 7-for-37 (19 percent) from deep. As it has done for most of the past two seasons, EKU committed fewer turnovers (24-15), but the visitors were out-scored 40-20 in the paint.
The Kings are a professional team playing in Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL). Sydney finished 12-16 during the 2013-14 season that ended in March.
Freshmen Daniel Norl and Paul Jackson finished with five and three points respectively in their first game as Colonels.
The Colonels will face the Wollongong Hawks on Sunday at 4 p.m. Australian time and 2 a.m. ET.
Australia Trip Game Schedule
Aug. 8th at Sydney Kings L 65-76
Aug. 10th at Wollongong Hawks 4 p.m. (2 a.m. ET)
Aug. 11th at Suncoast Clippers 8:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m. ET)
Aug. 14th at Cairns Taipans 7 p.m. (5 a.m. ET)