RICHMOND, Ky. – Sophomore Jacquess Hobbs’ coast-to-coast buzzer beater lifted the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team to a thrilling 85-83 win over OVC foe Southeast Missouri on Saturady night at McBrayer Arena.
EKU (9-10, 2-4 OVC) led by 11, 77-66, with 3:30 to play. However, SEMO (6-13, 1-5 OVC) rallied down the stretch and tied the game, 83-83, on a three-point play by Alex Caldwell with eight seconds on the clock. With senior star Nick Mayo fouled out, the Colonels inbounded the ball to Hobbs, who went the length of the floor and hit the game-winning floater as time expired.
Mayo finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and four assists to lead the Colonels to their second consecutive conference victory. Freshman Jomaru Brown came off the bench to tally 17 points and seven rebounds in the win. Fellow freshman Tre King posted 10 points, four boards and three assists.
The night began as an ode to Mayo. The senior became the first EKU player and only the 18th OVC player ever to record 2,000 career points. He entered the game needing only three points to reach the double century mark, and it took him just one minute and five seconds to get it. He sank his very first shot of the game, a three-pointer from the top of the key.
Mayo’s hot start led EKU to an early 20-13 lead, but SEMO responded with a 7-0 run and knotted it up at 20-20 on a layup by Skyler Hogan at the 9:27 mark of the first half.
EKU stretched its lead back out to 11 when Mayo drained a jumper with eight ticks remaining in the half. SEMO converted a layup at the buzzer to make it a nine-point lead at halftime, 41-32.
The Redhawks came out of the locker room hot, opening the second half on a 7-0 run and trimming the lead to just two, 42-40, on a three-pointer by Ledarrius Brewer.
Five straight points by King – a layup and a three-pointer – helped quell the rally. The Colonels then seemed to take control of the game, taking their largest lead of the night – 73-61 – on a lay-in by Brown with 5:47 left.
The Redhawks, however, rallied in the waning minutes, before Hobbs’ heroics sent them home with a loss.
EKU out-rebounded SEMO, 36-29, on the night. However, the Redhawks won the turnover battle, 15-12.
The Colonels shot it well, going 27-of-54 from the field (50 percent) and 9-of-22 (41 percent) from deep.
Hogan paced Southeast Missouri with 20 points in the game.
EKU returns to action next Thursday, Jan. 24, when the Colonels host Jacksonville State in Berea. Tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.