NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Senior Nick Mayo poured in 26 points, but it was not enough as the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team lost to host Belmont, 109-93, in a shootout on Saturday night at the Curb Event Center.
The game was up-and-down from the jump. EKU (7-10, 0-4 OVC) ran out to four-point lead when freshman Jomaru Brown knocked down a three-pointer to make it 16-12 at the 15:23 mark of the first half.
Belmont (12-3, 3-1 OVC) responded with an explosive 11-0 run, as a triple by Nick Hopkins handed the Bruins a 23-16 advantage less than two minutes later. Belmont stretched its lead all the way to 18 at halftime, 64-46.
The Colonels came out of the break rejuvenated. A three-pointer by Mayo sparked EKU on a 12-2 run. The run was capped by a fast-break dunk by Brown that brought EKU back to within ten, 70-60, with 16:28 on the clock.
The Bruins, however, halted the EKU momentum by reeling off eight straight points. A three by Adam Kunkel gave Belmont another 18-point lead, 78-60, just over two minutes later.
EKU clawed back to within 12, 87-75, on another Mayo triple with 7:55 to play in the game, but that was as close as the Colonels got.
EKU connected on 14 three-pointers in the game (14-of-35). Redshirt junior Dujuanta Weaver knocked down four of them and finished with 15 points. Brown was 3-of-4 from deep and tallied 17 points on the night.
Freshman Houston King came off the bench and drained three three-pointers, finishing with 13 points.
Eastern won the turnover battle, 18-11; however, the Colonels were out-rebounded on the night, 48-27.
Belmont shot 55.9 percent from the field (33-of-59) and 47.8 percent from deep (11-of-23). Kevin McClain paced the Bruins with 28 points. Dylan Windler added 23 points and 10 rebounds.
EKU returns home to host UT Martin (Thursday) and Southeast Missouri (Saturday) next weekend at McBrayer Arena.