EKU falls at Belmont, 92-74
Junior newcomer Cheikh Faye came off the bench to hit four three-pointers and score 12 points to lead the Colonels
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team lost at Belmont University, 92-74, on Thursday in Nashville.
Junior newcomer Cheikh Faye came off the bench to hit four three-pointers and score 12 points to lead the Colonels (15-5, 9-4 OVC). Russhard Cruickshank added 11 points off the bench. Tariq Balogun scored eight points and grabbed a team-best eight rebounds.
EKU fell behind by 10 in the first four minutes of the game, but righted the ship briefly. A lay-up from JaCobi Wood gave Belmont a 15-5 lead with 16:14 on the clock. The Colonels scored the next eight points however. A pair of three-pointers from Faye cut the deficit to four. JacQuess Hobbs hit two free throws to finish off the spurt and make it a two-point game, 15-13.
After a lay-up from Tre King with 11:58 to go in the first half made it a four-point game, 23-19, the Bruins scored 16 unanswered and EKU never recovered. Ben Sheppard started the run with a three-pointer and Caleb Hollander ended it with a triple, putting Belmont ahead by 20, 39-19.
A lay-up from Balogun with 7:29 left in the first ended a four minute and 29 second scoring drought for the Colonels. Another lay-up from Balogun cut the margin to 16, 44-28, but the Bruins scored the next six to move in front by 22, 50-28. The home squad led 50-32 at the break.
Belmont shot 58 percent from the field in the first half, including 8-of-15 from three-point range (53 percent). Eastern Kentucky made just 38 percent of its shots and was 4-for-11 from deep.
Wendell Green Jr. connected on a three-pointer to start the second half and close the gap to 15, 50-35. A 7-0 run later in the half got the visitors withing 12, 61-49, but EKU never got any closer.
Sheppard made 10-of-16 from the field, including 5-of-9 from three-point range, to lead Belmont with 25 points. He also had a game-best 10 rebounds. Hollander hit three 3-pointers and finished with 14 points.
The Bruins (21-1, 15-0 OVC) shot 53 percent for the game from the field and hit on 12-of-28 from behind the arc for 43 percent. EKU made 42 percent of its shots from the field and from deep (11-of-26).
The Colonels will conclude their trip to Nashville on Saturday at Tennessee State. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET.