Once the shots finally started to fall, the Colonels (5-1) quickly overwhelmed a former conference rival.

EKU opened the second half with a 17-0 run and pulled away for an 82-43 win Monday over Eastern Illinois (1-4) at McBrayer Arena.

Senior Jannson Williams had 16 points (including his 1,000 college point), 10 rebounds and six blocks for the Colonels, while Curt Lewis also had a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds).

"We didn't get hot early, but we finished pretty hot," Williams said.

The Colonels shot just 33 percent from the field in the first half, but took a 29-18 lead into the halftime over the even-colder shooting Panthers.

"I thought the energy we played with the first half was pretty good," EKU coach A.W. Hamilton said. "We just weren't making shots. We were getting good shots. In the second half, we came out with the same energy and the shots starting falling and we were playing EKU basketball."

Williams and Cooper Robb combined to score EKU's first nine points of the second half .

A three-pointer by Williams with 16:13 left gave the Colonels a 36-18 lead and pushed the senior past a memorable milestone. He scored 941 points during his career at Marshall before transferring this season to EKU.

"It kind of hurt my feelings a little bit that I didn't get it at Marshall," said Williams, a six-year senior. "But, God looked out for me and gave me another year."

The Colonels struggled offensively at times on Monday, but put together another outstanding defensive performance.

EKU forced 25 turnovers, which led to 35 points, and limited EIU to just 26.3 percent shooting from the field (5-of-26 three-pointers).

"We drew the line. We weren't going to let them get anything easy," EKU's Russhard Cruickshank said.

Senior Braxton Beverly missed the game after reaggravating a back injury.

Cruickshank started at point guard and played 24 minutes, scoring 10 points while adding five rebounds and five assists.

"Russhard Cruickshank was terrific," Hamilton said. "He takes care of the basketball. He can make shots. He knows everything I want. He gets it."

EKU shot 39 percent from the field, but hit 14 three-pointers. The Colonels out-rebounded EIU, 52-41, and had 30 points in the paint and 14 second-chance points.

"It's a numbers game and when we play like that, it's hard to beat us," Hamilton said.

Michael Moreno had 15 points and seven rebounds. Jomaru Brown had seven points and five rebounds. Michael Wardy had six points. Robb had five points, Tariq Balogun had three points and Devontae Blanton finished with two points and four assists.

The Panthers -- who regularly face the Colonels when both teams were in the Ohio Valley Conference -- got a team-best nine points from C.J. Lane.

EKU is set to return to action Friday at West Virginia.

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