RICHMOND, Ky. – Nick Mayo recorded a double-double with 26 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, but the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team fell to No. 25 Marshall 105-77 in Wednesday’s regular-season opener at McBrayer Arena.
Mayo’s effort brought him to within 225 points of Matt Witt’s career points record set in 2006. He is now sixth on Eastern’s all-time scoring list with 1,608 points.
Marshall held a three-point advantage early in the first half when a put back dunk by Mayo pulled Eastern to within one. Then, back-to-back midrange jumpers by Lachlan Anderson and Mayo gave the Colonels a 9-6 lead.
A slam by Marshall’s CJ Burks drew a technical foul for hanging on the rim, sending Mayo to the line for a free throw to take a 10-8 lead with 14:54 left. Burks responded with five straight points to put the Thundering Herd ahead by four. Mayo hit a jumper to cut the lead down to two, but Marshall went on a 13-0 run over the next four minutes.
Down 40-16 with 6:59 left to play in first half, Mayo quickly rattled off four points in 22 seconds. Jordan Oakley added fuel to Eastern’s run with a left baseline trifecta with 6:15 on the clock. Mayo capped off the 10-0 run with a pair of free throws, cutting Marshall’s lead to 15, 40-25.
Both teams traded baskets to close out the half as Marshall took a 57-38 lead into the locker room.
Marshall kicked off the second half with a 14-2 run over seven minutes to extend its lead to 27. The Thundering Herd wouldn’t look back, closing out a 28-point victory.
Mayo’s 83rd career double digit scoring game, including a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe, led the way for the Colonels. Kelvin Robinson and Jomaru Brown both scored double-figures, contributing 13 and 11 points, respectively. Robinson and Oakley added on seven rebounds apiece for EKU.
Marshall (1-0) was led by Burk’s 30-point effort on 12-of-15 shooting from the field. Jon Elmore had 20-points along with a game-high six assists, while Taevion Kinsey tacked on 14 points for the Thundering Herd.
EKU (0-1) heads south on Saturday to take on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.