RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team tallied its third straight win Saturday night thanks to a 63-59 decision over Georgia Southern. Senior Jaron Jones led all scorers with 20 points.
Eastern (6-5) led throughout most of the game and by as many as eight, 47-39, with 6:50 remaining. However, the visiting Eagles (3-5) put together a 10-2 spurt capped by an Eric Ferguson jumper to level the game at 49-all. After two more ties, Georgia Southern jumped ahead with 2:43 left, 55-53, following a Willie Powers lay-in.
From there, the Colonels scored on their next three possessions to regain the lead for good. Junior Mike DiNunno’s lay-up quickly equaled the score for the 10th time of the night. Senior Joshua Jones then came through with a driving lay-up to make the score 57-55 in favor of EKU. Finally, Jaron Jones recorded a put-back bucket with 34 seconds remaining to extend the lead to four points, 59-55.
Eastern Kentucky sealed the win by converting 4-of-6 free throws in the final 20 seconds. The Colonels finished the game 13-of-16 (81.3 percent) at the charity stripe, including 12-of-14 (85.7 percent) in the second half. Meanwhile, Georgia Southern netted just 9-of-18 (50 percent) of its free throw attempts.
The Colonels shot 58.3 percent (14-of-24) from the floor in the first half to take a 30-22 lead into intermission. EKU rolled off nine straight points late in the stanza to build a 28-19 cushion. Senior Jeff Allgood capped the run with Eastern’s only three-pointer of the half.
Two other EKU players besides Jaron Jones reached double-figure points – sophomore Jeff Johnson (10 points) and freshman Eric Stutz (10). Johnson hauled in a game-high six rebounds.
Ferguson paced Georgia Southern in the scoring column with 19 points while going a perfect 9-for-9 from the field. Powers added 13 points and six assists.
Eastern Kentucky moved to 3-0 in home games for the third time in seven years under head coach Jeff Neubauer. The Colonels are shooting 55 percent from the floor (88-of-160) in home games this season.
The Colonels have the ensuing week off to concentrate on final exams. EKU is back in action next Saturday, Dec. 17 at OVC foe Jacksonville State.