Categorized | Eastern Kentucky, TSU MBB

Colonels top TSU for Third Straight Win

Posted on 08 February 2015 by Allen


Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team survived a wild finish in McBrayer Arena Saturday, beating Tennessee State University 77-72.

With two minutes to go, Tennessee State (5-20, 2-8 OVC) junior guard Marcus Roper hit a three from the right wing to cut the EKU (14-9, 6-4 OVC) lead to three. On the ensuing inbound play, guard Jay Harris stole the ball and laid it in to bring the lead to just one.

An Eric Stutz backdoor cut and lay-up brought the Eastern lead back to three, but on the next possession Roper hit another three to tie the game at 72 with 39 seconds to go.

Two Corey Walden free throws made the lead two again in the Colonels’ favor. Roper missed a three-pointer at the other end with 24 seconds left that was defended by junior guard Tommy Matthews.

Matthews, a reserve guard, is averaging only 4.8 minutes per game.

“That’s the biggest thing, the fact that I trust him enough to put him in the game with 22 seconds left,” head coach Jeff Neubauer said.

EKU made three free throws after the miss to seal the win.

“The greatest skill you can have in life is knowing how to win,” Neubauer said. “And we did do enough here tonight to win.”

Senior guard Timmy Knipp finished with a career-high 23 points, shooting 6-of-8 from three-point land. Knipp scored 12 of the first 21 points for the Colonels, starting the game 4-of-4 from deep.

Eastern Kentucky also had huge contributions from fellow seniors Corey Walden and Eric Stutz. Walden finished with 22 points, four rebounds, five assists and four steals. Stutz contributed 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting and added four rebounds.

“I thought Corey Walden was really special tonight, he only ended up with five assists but had a dozen great passes.”

Roper was a star for the Tigers. The junior had 32 points and finished 7-of-13 from three-point land.

Both teams had success from the field and three-point range. EKU shot 50 percent from the floor and the Tigers finished at 49 percent. The Colonels made 10-of-25 from deep and Tennessee State had nine threes for the game.

The Colonels turned the ball over 13 times, but forced 16 Tiger turnovers.

EKU led 42-30 at the half, but was outscored 42-35 in the second half. Knipp, Walden and Stutz combined for 32 of the 42 points at the break.

The Colonels will play host to rival Morehead State on Wednesday for another nationally televised game. Tip-off at McBrayer Arena is scheduled for 9 p.m. on ESPNU.

EKU leads the all-time series 31-25. The Colonels are now 18-11 against the Tigers in Richmond. Eastern has won nine of the past 12 meetings overall and seven straight in McBrayer Arena.

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