RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team rolled past UT Martin, 97-73, in the Colonels’ Ohio Valley Conference home opener on Thursday night at McBrayer Arena.
EKU (8-10, 1-4 OVC) overwhelmed the visitors early in the game. With UTM (5-11, 0-5 OVC) leading, 17-15, at the 10:35 mark of the first half, the Colonels exploded on a 33-3 run to put the game out of contention.
Senior Nick Mayo sparked the run with a jumper, and Mayo ended with another jumper that made it 48-20 with 2:53 on the clock.
Eastern held UT Martin scoreless for nearly six minutes during the decisive stretch.
A three-pointer at the buzzer by junior Lachlan Anderson sent the Colonels into the locker room at halftime up by 25, 55-30.
EKU did not let off the brakes in the second half. Junior Dujuanta Weaver drained a three-pointer to open the stanza and the Colonels cruised the rest of the way.
Eastern grabbed its largest lead of the night when Mayo buried a triple to make it 73-38 with 14:59 to play.
Ten Colonels scored in the lopsided victory. Weaver led the balanced effort, connecting on a career-high six three pointers to match his career-high with 18 points.
Freshman Houston King made his first career start and responded with 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting from deep. Fellow freshman Jomaru Brown came off the bench to tally 14 points and a team-best five steals.
Mayo, meanwhile, did it all for the Colonels in the win: 13 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks.
Junior Kelvin Robinson (eight points, eight assists) and freshman Tre King (eight points, nine rebounds) were both close to double-doubles.
As a team, EKU shot 15-of-34 (44.1 percent) from three-point range in the win.
The Colonels turned UT Martin over 23 times, and converted those turnovers into 31 points.
EKU had 25 assists and only 13 turnovers on the night.
Jailen Gill paced UTM with 19 points and eight rebounds in the game.
EKU stays at home to host Southeast Missouri on Saturday night at 7 p.m.