The rebounding margin wasn’t close and by the end neither was the result.

Inside the last 12 minutes of the Colonels’ Saturday Ohio Valley Conference showdown against Tennessee Tech, the Golden Eagles (5-10, 2-3 OVC) erased an eight-point deficit and went on to pick up a 75-64 victory.

The loss leaves EKU (6-8, 3-3 OVC) in a very similar position as it was in last season. Coming off a 22-point drumming by the Golden Eagles in Cookeville, the Colonels were 3-3 in the league. They went on to finish 13-7 and eventually win the OVC Tournament.

“We were at the same point last year and we still learned from our experiences,” EKU coach Jeff Neubauer said. “We had losses to SEMO, Tennessee Tech and Austin Peay and we still found ways to get better.”

One of the sticking points for the third-year coach is defense and he wants to see this team improve.

TTU scored almost at will inside the final 11 minutes behind Daniel Northern and Anthony Fisher — who each had 22 points.

Northern had nine points inside the final 10:30. And with the Colonels clinging to a 57-55 lead, the junior center blocked a lay-up attempt by Mike Rose.

EKU was outscored 20-7 the rest of the way.

“I don’t know if we got any stops down the stretch in the last 10 minutes,” Neubauer said. “The other disappointing part of that is that they scored in the paint — lay-ups, second chances off offensive rebounds and post-ups. It wasn’t like they hit a lot of tough shots to beat us. They just hit a lot of shots around the bucket.”

The Golden Eagles had 50 points inside the paint with 14 offensive rebounds converted into 18 second-chance points.

Northern and Amadi McKenzie, who lead the OVC in offensive rebounding, each had four in that category, while Northern got 12 total and McKenzie finished with eight.

“We just couldn’t figure out a combination to get all those rebounds, especially on the offensive end,” EKU’s Darnell Dialls said. “We have to figure out something better.”

Dialls attempted a straight away three with 12:26 remaining that would have given the Colonels an 11-point edge, but his miss and David Minaya’s only make — a three — started to turn the tide. EKU went from hitting 50 percent from the field to 39.3 and finished 43.6 percent for the game.

Offensively, the Colonels showed balance with four of the five starters reaching double figures — Rose, 16 points, Darnell Dialls, 14 points, and Adam Leonard and Justin Stommes, 13 points each.

“What we take away is there are a lot of things on this stat sheet offensively that are good enough to win a college basketball game,” Neubauer said. “But, when you don’t get stops for about 10 minutes of a basketball game you are not going to win.”

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