CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Senior Nick Mayo poured in a career-high 40 points to lead the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team to a come-from-behind 81-78 road win against Chattanooga on Saturday night at Mckenzie Arena.
It marked A.W. Hamilton’s first win as a Division-I head coach.
Mayo dropped 35 of his 40 points in the second-half comeback. He added 12 rebounds, giving him two double-doubles in as many games this season.
Mayo is the first Colonel to score 40 points in a game since Lavoris Jerry posted 41 versus Eastern Illinois in February of 2001.
With Mayo saddled with early foul trouble, Chattanooga (1-1) ran out to a 13-point lead in the first half when Kevin Easley knocked down a jumper to make it 37-24 with 5:53 on the clock.
A layup by freshman Jomaru Brown, two free throws from freshman Tre King and a jumper by sophomore Jacquess Hobbs in the final minutes of the first half helped trim the deficit to nine at the break, 45-36.
The Mocs continued to keep the Colonels (1-1) at bay early in the second half, going up by 11, 59-48, following a three-point play by Easley with 11:28 remaining in the game.
Hobbs cut the deficit to nine with a jumper on EKU’s ensuing possession.
Then, Mayo took over.
He scored EKU’s next 17 points. His three-pointer at the 7:26 mark gave the Colonels their first lead of the game, 65-63. His jumper at the 6:44 mark capped a 19-6 Colonel run.
Chattanooga retook the lead, 69-67, when Easley converted a layup with 4:50 on the clock, but that would be the Mocs’ final advantage.
Junior Kelvin Robinson buried a jumper on the Colonels’ next possession to tie it, and then Mayo kept pouring it on. He scored 10 of EKU’s final 12 points, including two free throws with 16 seconds on the clock to ice it.
Mayo finished 12-of-23 from the field, 4-of-10 from deep and 12-of-13 from the free throw line. He is now 20-of-21 from the stripe this season.
Hobbs was the only other Colonel in double figures, finishing 6-of-8 from the field to record 13 points. Sophomore Peyton Broughton contributed eight points, four rebounds and three assists.
Easley paced the Mocs with 22 points.
Saturday night’s performance moved Mayo past Arlando Johnson and John Allen to No. 4 on EKU’s all-time scoring list (1,648 points).
EKU returns home to host Midway on Tuesday night, November 13, at 7:00 p.m.