The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team fell to Florida International, 89-70, on Friday in the Battle for the Capital at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C.
Senior Ty Taylor and sophomore Jomaru Brown both finished with 19 points to pace the Colonels. Sophomore Tre King recorded 10 points and eight rebounds before fouling out. Junior Darius Hicks just missed his second straight double-double, scoring seven points and grabbing a team-best nine boards.
Taylor sparked EKU in the first half, shooting 4-of-5 from three-point range. One of those three-pointers made it a one-point game, 19-18, with 9:24 left in the half. FIU, however, responded with a 7-0 run to claim an eight-point lead, 26-18, less than two minutes later.
The Panthers took their largest lead of the first half, 41-28, when Devon Andrews connected on a three-pointer with 2:26 on the clock.
A dunk by King and a free throw by Hicks sent the Colonels into halftime facing a 10-point deficit, 41-31.
EKU battled throughout the second half and cut the FIU lead to six, 54-48, following a three-point play by Brown with 13:04 remaining in the game. Moments later, a three from the corner by senior Lachlan Anderson made it a five-point game, 56-51.
With EKU trailing by eight, 68-60, FIU exploded on a 15-2 run to put the game out of reach. A dunk by Osasumwen Osaghae capped the run and made it 83-62 with 3:38 to play.
EKU out-rebounded FIU, 39-36, in the game; however, the Panthers shot 57 percent from the field (34-of-60), while the Colonels were just 29 percent (21-of-64).
FIU’s Andrews led all players in the game with 24 points.
EKU will face Cleveland State in its final game of the Battle for the Capital at 3:30 p.m. today.