By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Colonels picked up a program record 22nd-straight, non-conference home win, 74-63 Tuesday over Chattanooga.
They did it with some superb defense, forcing the Mocs into 24 turnovers.
Seven of those came in a decisive 14-4 run mid-way through the second half that gave EKU a 62-49 lead.
They never allowed the Mocs to get closer than seven points the rest of the way.
“The second half we guarded the ball one-on-one much better than we did in the first half. Our transition defense in the second half was really, really good, meaning they did not score a single point in transition in the second half,” EKU coach Jeff Neubauer said. “The turnover differential really matters to us. We’ve got to force turnovers. We forced 24 turnovers tonight and then we only turned it over five times. Anytime you do that, you have a great chance to win.
Glenn Cosey led four Colonels in double figures with 19 points. Junior Corey Walden finished with 16 points, while Marcus Lewis had 13 points and Orlando Williams had 10 points.
The game was extremely tight early. There were eight ties and nine lead changes before the Colonels took the lead for good, 37-36, on two Lewis free throws with 2:11 left in the half.
Corey Walden drilled a long three pointer then slammed home a dunk with four seconds left to give the Colonels a 42-36 cushion at the half.
In the second half, the defense was the story.
EKU forced the Mocs into 15 turnovers and held them to only 11 field goal attempts in the second half, which allowed the Colonels to build a lead of as many as 14 points, 67-53 with just more than five minutes left in the game.
Neubauer said he got exactly what he wanted from the non-conference matchup.
“This is what we wanted out of this game. We wanted to play a very good basketball team. We don’t care what month it is, the goal as far as basketball players and coaches is to compete,” he said. “Our guys competed. A lot of guys contributed. I’m really pleased with how Jeff Johnson, Orlando Williams and Isaac McGlone came off the bench.
Eric Stutz finished with nine points and five rebounds, Tarius Johnson added five points and five rebounds and Jeff Johnson had two points, three assists and one blocked shot.
The Colonels are now 26-2 in their last 28 home games.
EKU returns to action in a nationally televised matchup with rival Morehead State at 11 a.m. Saturday in McBrayer Arena.