EKU's top three scorers - Jayla Johnson, Kendall Wingler and Alice Recanti - spent most of the second quarter of Monday's match-up with Jacksonville State on the bench in foul trouble.
Their absence made a big impact.
The Colonels (7-12, 6-9 OVC) led 20-11 after one quarter.
They trailed 34-22 at halftime.
"When we got in foul trouble, that really disrupted our flow," EKU coach Samantha Williams said in a postgame radio interview. "It was a major disruption."
EKU never recovered.
Wingler lead a second-half charge that briefly got the Colonels within three points, but the Gamecocks (12-6, 9-5 OVC) steadily pulled away and claimed a 73-55 win in Jacksonville, Ala.
Wingler had 16 points, while Johnson and Recanti had 11 points each. The Colonels got just four points off their bench and shot just 36.4 percent.
The loss keep EKU in ninth place in the OVC standings. Only the top eight teams advance to the league's tournament next month in Evansville, Ind.
"We made a run there in the third quarter, but again we just made some mental mistakes and had some defensive breakdowns," Williams said.
The Colonels raced out to a 7-0 lead and were 14-5 after a Johnson basket. The senior transfer from Texas State had nine points as EKU built a nine-point lead behind 60 percent shooting.
The Gamecocks quickly turned things around in the second quarter.
JSU opened the period on a 14-0 run as the Colonels were held scoreless from almost seven minutes. EKU was 1-of-10 from the field in the second quarter with nine turnovers.
Wingler scored eight-straight points in the third quarter, but JSU pushed back out to a nine-point (52-43) lead heading into the final period.
Senior Bria Bass had nine points and 10 rebounds. Emma Hacker and Anysa Jordan had four points each.
EKU shot just 41 percent from the field and was 4-of-20 from three-point range.
The Gamecocks shot 47 percent, including 10-of-20 from three-point range, and got 52 points off the bench as they swept the season series from the Colonels.
"It's a learning lesson," Williams said. "We will bounce back."
EKU is set to return to action Thursday at Southeast Missouri State (13-5, 11-8 OVC).