RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team led Belmont University early, but never recovered from a late first half Bruin run in a 83-65 loss at McBrayer Arena on Thursday.
Nick Mayo led the Colonels with 22 points, eight rebounds, four steals and three blocks. Jomaru Brown added 14 points, three assists and three steals.
The game remained close for much of the first half, with eight lead changes and a tie through the first 10 minutes of play. Eastern fell behind 10-4, but stayed in the game and took leads of 13-12 on a Houston King three-pointer, 17-16 on a basket by Jordan Oakley, and 19-18 when Kelvin Robinson hit a jumper.
After another Robinson jumper got EKU to within two, 23-21, with 9:35 left in the opening half, the Bruins went on to close the first stanza with a 22-10 run. Belmont led by 16, 45-29, on a Kevin McClain lay-up with 1:39 showing on the clock.
Brown’s jumper set the halftime score at 45-31.
Buckets by Mayo and Brown to start the second half got Eastern Kentucky back to within 10, 45-35, but the Colonels (10-14, 3-8 OVC) never got any closer.
McClain had a game-best 27 points to go along with 12 rebounds for Belmont (18-4, 9-2 OVC). Dylan Windler also had a double-double, contributing 20 points and 14 rebounds.
The Bruins shot 49 percent from the field for the game. The Colonels hit on 39 percent but out-scored Belmont at the free throw line by nine.
EKU will be right back in action at McBrayer Arena on Saturday when Tennessee State visits Richmond. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.