OVC MEN'S HOOPS: Colonels roll past Tennessee Tech

Back on the court for the fourth time in eight days, the Colonels didn't look worn out or road weary.

Not at all.

They used some outstanding shooting to build a big early lead on Monday over Tennessee Tech (3-20, 3-12 OVC) in Cookeville, Tenn.

EKU (17-5, 11-4 OVC) connected on its first five three-point attempts and rolled to an important 83-72 win over the Golden Eagles. Michael Moreno had a team-high 18 points and was 5-of-7 from long range.

"I am proud of our guys," EKU coach A.W. Hamilton said in a postgame radio interview. "They are doing a really good job right now. I thought Michael was terrific and really got us going. This was a great team win for us."

The game was the fourth in a seven-game road swing for the Colonels. The victory kept EKU in third place in the OVC standings, a game ahead of Jacksonville State (14-7, 10-5).

After beating last-place Tennessee State, 93-73, on Saturday in Nashville, the Colonels quickly took control against 11th-place Tennessee Tech.

EKU scored the first eight points and took a 10-2 lead.

The Colonels pushed out to a 26-point lead on a three-pointer by Moreno with 3:47 left in the half, then took 56-36 lead into halftime.

EKU shot 69 percent from the field in the first half, including 9-of-13 from three-point range, and had nine players score. Moreno and Cheikh Faye were both 3-of-3 from long range in the opening 20 minutes and Tre King had 13 points.

The Colonels finished the game with 26 assists, including six by Wendell Green Jr., and five from Cooper Robb, as they swept regular-season series from the Golden Eagles.

"When we move (the ball) and when share (the ball), we are really good," Hamilton said.

The Colonels didn't look quite as good in the second half.

It didn't really matter, though.

EKU shot 42 percent after halftime (11-of-26, 3-of-10 three-point range) and had 10 turnovers.

"I hate the way we finished the game," Hamilton said. "But, I'm not going to beat the kids up about it. Our whole halftime speech was about keeping the pressure on them and playing a great second half. Down the stretch, they still do a good job, so I was proud of them for that."

Trey King had 13 points and five rebounds for EKU. Lewis had 10 points and five rebounds. Faye had nine points. Green Jr., Russhard Cruickshank (five rebounds) and Teriq Balogun had seven points each.

Davontae Blanton had six points and four rebounds. Robb had five points. Isaiah Minter had one point.

The Colonels arrived in Cookeville on Sunday expecting a 9 p.m. game on Monday with Tech. The time was moved to 7 p.m., then was pushed up to 3 p.m. because of winter weather in the area.

EKU players didn't find out until just hours before the game.

"They were so excited," Hamilton said. "They just wanted to play."

The Colonels will stay in Cookeville again tonight before heading to Martin, Tenn., to take on UT-Martin on Thursday.

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