By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech men's basketball team (9-15, 5-4) couldn't hold off a hot Eastern Kentucky squad (10-14, 3-6) Saturday evening, as the visiting Colonels overcame a slow start to rally and pull away late for a 79-66 Ohio Valley Conference victory in the Eblen Center.
The Golden Eagles opened the contest on a brilliant run, taking as much as a 17-point lead in the first half thanks to timely shots and an early EKU scoring drought. Things quickly flipped in the opposite direction, however, as the Colonels caught fire to close out the opening period while Tech began to suffer from a cold shooting touch.
Eastern Kentucky pulled to within one point at the break, but the Golden Eagles fought tightly in the opening six minutes of the second half, never letting the Colonels take more than a two-point lead. Tech's shooting woes continued in the second half, however, and the visitors took advantage, opening as much as a 16-point lead with a barrage of big 3-pointers and transition layups.
Junior guard Aleksa Jugovic led the Golden Eagles with 18 points on the night, hitting all eight of his free throw attempts. Senior Hakeem Rogers added 13 points off the bench, connecting on 5-of-11 shots from the floor while also hauling in five rebounds.
Senior guard Kajon Mack corralled a career-high and team-best 10 boards in the contest, just missing a double-double with eight points. Sophomore Stephaun Adams tied his career-high mark with 10 points, boasting a 4-for-5 line from the floor.
As a team, the Golden Eagles out-rebounded the Colonels, 43-35, but struggled to draw enough foul calls to see the charity stripe more than 17 times on a tough night.
The Golden Eagles will wrap up a three-game home stand Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m., playing host to UT Martin in the second half of a doubleheader with the Tech women's squad.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information