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Eastern Kentucky opens Ohio Valley Conference play Thursday with 74-59 victory over Tennessee Tech

Eastern Kentucky opened Ohio Valley Conference play Thursday night with a 74-59 victory over Tennessee Tech at McBrayer Arena.

Tre King led EKU (4-10, 1-0 OVC) with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting. He also had two blocks and two steals. Ty Taylor hit three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points, five rebounds and two assists. Russhard Cruickshank also knocked down three 3-pointers and scored 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting.

A scorching start staked Eastern Kentucky to an early lead. EKU scored the first nine points of the game as Tennessee Tech turned the ball over four times in the first two minutes. The Colonels had an eight-point advantage, 25-17, before going on a 21-6 run.

EKU’s JacQuess Hobbs (1) drives into the lane against Tennessee Tech. (EKU photo)

King started it with a jumper before Cruickshank hit two free throws and a 3-pointer to push the lead to 32-17.

When Taylor and Lachlan Anderson knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to stretch the lead to 40-23, the Colonels had made 15-of-23 (65 percent) attempts from the field, including 8-of-11 from 3-point range.

A steal and layup from Cruickshank and a jumper from King capped the run and put the home squad on top 46-23. Eastern led 49-30 at the break after shooting 56 percent for the half. The Colonels outscored Tennessee Tech 13-0 off turnovers in the first 20 minutes of play.

Tennessee Tech used a 10-3 run to draw within 10, 60-50, midway through the second half. Eastern Kentucky, however, used a 10-2 spurt to go back in front by 18 at 70-52.

EKU made 28-of-56 field goal attempts, including 12-of-27 (44 percent) from behind the arc. Tennessee Tech made 36 percent of its shots, and just 4-of-12 at the free-throw line.

Eastern turned 16 Golden Eagle turnovers into a 21-5 edge in points off turnovers. Darius Allen led Tennessee Tech with 16 points.

From Eastern Kentucky University

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