GEORGETOWN, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University's men's basketball team had a 5-point lead with less than five minutes to play, but Tennessee Tech University staged a late comeback to earn a 91-85 win on Saturday at Davis-Reid Alumni Gym.
The Golden Eagles (7-14, 3-5 OVC) hit on 11-of-22 three-pointers and shot 54 percent from the field for the game.
EKU took an eight-point, 76-68, lead on a jumper by Nick Mayo after the Colonel defense forced a 5-second call. However, Tech went on a 20-7 run to seize control of the game. Corey Tillery's three-pointer tied it, 81-81with 3:56 left to play. He was fouled on the shot and hit the free throw to give the Golden Eagles the lead. Tennessee Tech took the lead for good, 85-83, on Jr. Clay's three with 3:15 showing on the clock.
Another Tillery triple, this time with 2:27 remaining made it a five-point game, 88-83.
Eastern had a shot to tie the contest in the final 20 seconds but a turnover ended a chance at a comeback.
Kelvin Robinson had 17 points, eight steals, five assists and four rebounds for Eastern Kentucky (10-11, 3-5 OVC). Nick Mayo led all players with 29 points to go along with nine rebounds.
EKU went 25-for-27 at the free throw line for 92.6 percent.
Clay finished with 22 points and nine rebounds for Tennessee Tech. Tillery added 18 points.
The Colonels had a one-point lead at halftime, despite allowing Tennessee Tech to shoot 61 percent in the first 20 minutes of play. After falling behind 10-4, EKU went on a 13-3 run to take a 4-point lead. Peyton Broughton got it started with a lay-up and a three-pointer. Houston King finished it with a lay-up and two free throws.
The Golden Eagles' hot shooting, including 6-for-12 from long range, allowed them to go back in front by seven, 30-23. Eastern whittled the lead down again, tying it 34-34 on a three-pointer by Dujuanta Weaver. A three-pointer by Robinson from the left wing and two free throws by Jomaru Brown in the final 1:04 of the half allowed EKU to erase a four-point deficit and take a 1-point advantage, 43-42, into the locker room.
EKU won the turnover battle on the night, 22-18. The Colonels – who rank second in the country in steals-per-game (11.0) – came up with 14 steals on the night.
Eastern Kentucky makes a two-game road trip to Illinois next week, beginning with a contest at Eastern Illinois on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET.