RICHMOND, Ky. — Eastern Kentucky opened Thursday night with 18 consecutive points and outscored Ohio Valley by 25 over an 8:53 stretch in the second half to claim a 103-74 victory over the Fighting Scots in McBrayer Arena.
EKU hit four three-pointers in the opening five minutes of play to build an 18-0 lead with 15:28 left in the opening stanza. The Colonels (2-0) went up 28-9 on a trey from Russhard Cruickshank with 12:37 to go. Ohio Valley (0-3) responded with a 17-7 run that narrowed the gap to 33-26 at the 4:51 mark, but Eastern Kentucky answered with a run of its own, scoring 11 of the game's next 13 points to push the lead to 44-28 with 2:21 remaining before halftime. EKU led 48-37 at the break.
The Fighting Scots scored the first five points of the second half before a Braxton Beverly layup ignited a 32-7 Colonel run over the next nine minutes to give Eastern Kentucky an 80-49 advantage with 9:08 to play. During the run, EKU hit 12 of its 19 shots from the field and missed two consecutive field goals just once.
Seven players scored in double figures, led by Michael Moreno's 22 points. The sophomore hit 9-of-15 shot attempts, including three three-pointers He also had nine rebounds and four steals.
Cruickshank scored 14 points, while Beverly had 13 points. Devontae Blanton, Curt Lewis, and Jomaru Brown each finished with 12 points. Blanton led the team with four assists. Michael Wardy contributed 11 points. Tariq Balogun blocked five shots.
Eastern Kentucky totaled 15 assists and turned Ohio Valley's 27 turnovers into 40 points. EKU scored 27 second-chance points off 16 offensive rebounds and shot 49.3 percent from the field on the night.
The Colonels hit the road for the first time this weekend as EKU battles Milwaukee on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.