RICHMOND, Ky. – Tennessee Tech shot a season-best 64.3 percent from the field to defeat the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team, 78-66, Saturday night in McBrayer Arena. Senior Spencer Perrin led all players with 20 points in the losing effort.
EKU (7-9, 2-4 OVC) had won five straight over TTU (6-8, 3-2 OVC) before Saturday.
The Colonels trailed by 14, 53-39, with 11:49 left in the game, but rallied behind the play of Perrin, who scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half and 13 of those 15 between the 10:42 and 5:43 marks of the second stanza. Then, with 4:32 left in the game, Perrin found senior Josh Daniel in the corner for a three-pointer to pull EKU to within three, 63-60.
The Colonels got a stop on the Golden Eagles’ next possession and had a chance to tie the contest for the first time since late in the first half. However, Zac Swansey came up with a steal and a three-point play to turn the game around. TTU outscored EKU 15-6 over the remainder of the game.
Daniel and sophomore Willie Cruz scored 16 and 15 points, respectively, for the Colonels. EKU shot 50 percent (13-of-26) from the field in the second half after shooting just 29.2 percent (7-of-24) in the first half.
Jud Dillard and Zach Bailey both scored 15 points to lead a balanced Golden Eagle scoring attack. Dillard (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Swansey (13 points, 10 assists) both had double-doubles on the night.
Hot-shooting TTU shot 64.3 percent (27-of-42) from the field, 58.3 percent (7-of-12) from behind the arc and 85 percent (17-of-20) from the free throw stripe, all season highs.
TTU led for most of the first half before a layup by Cruz with 6:44 showing on the clock gave the Colonels their first lead, 20-19, since less than a minute into the game. EKU held that lead for less than two minutes, though, as Swansey’s three-pointer at the 5:38 mark handed TTU a 24-21 advantage. The Golden Eagles held that lead and went into the locker room at halftime up by four, 36-32.
EKU continues conference play on the road next week as the Colonels travel to play Eastern Illinois on Thursday and Southeast Missouri on Saturday.