JACKSONVILLE, Ala. — Freshman Wendell Green Jr. banked in a three-pointer from the top of the key to force overtime, and then scored 10 points in overtime to lead the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team to an 86-82 road win at Jacksonville State on Tuesday night at Pete Mathews Coliseum.
It is EKU’s ninth consecutive win, and it improves the Colonels to 14-2 (8-1 OVC).
Eastern trailed by eight, 71-63, with just over five minutes to play in regulation. However, the Colonels went on a 7-0 run over the next four minutes and 13 seconds. A pair of free throws by sophomore Michael Moreno capped the run and pulled EKU to within one, 71-70, with 30 seconds on the clock.
Jacksonville State’s Darian Adams was fouled with 19 ticks remaining. He made both free throws to give the Gamecocks a three-point advantage, 73-70.
On EKU’s ensuing possession, Green Jr. found himself deep off the top of the key with time dwindling and very few options. He hoisted a three-pointer with nine seconds left that banked in and tied it up.
JSU went up by two, 79-77, when Kayne Henry converted a three-point play with 3:35 on the clock in overtime. That is when EKU went on a decisive 8-0 run to seal the victory. The run included a clutch three-pointer from Green Jr. and ended with a Tariq Balogun put-back that made it 85-79 in favor of EKU with 14 seconds on the clock.
JSU pulled to within three on a three-pointer with nine seconds left, but Green Jr. sank a free throw on the other end to put it out of reach.
Green Jr. finished with a game-high 22 points, to go along with eight assists and seven rebounds.
Junior Cooper Robb posted a career-high 20 points, while Moreno recorded 15 points and seven boards. Balogun came off the bench to score a season-high 11 points.
Henry paced four Gamecocks in double figures with 22 points.
EKU won the turnover battle, 14-6, and converted those 14 JSU turnovers into 17 key points.
The Colonels were 14-of-37 (38 percent) from three-point range in the win.
EKU returns home to host Austin Peay (Feb. 4) and Murray State (Feb. 6) later this week.