Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball was trailing Morehead State University at the half but with the career-best scoring performance by Michael Moreno, the Colonels came out on top in their home opener, 71-68.

Moreno made three 3-pointers to start the contest and put the Colonels up, 9-0.

Shortly into the first half, the Eagles took the lead and the Colonels went into the locker room down, 44-28.

“It will be a halftime they’ll never forget,” head coach A.W. Hamilton said.

EKU continued to trail in the second half but several times were able to close the gap less than 10 point difference. With less than 1:30 on the clock, Wendell Green Jr. had a lay-up for the Colonels giving them a one point lead on MSU, 67-66. 

Green contributed nine points, six assists and four steals.

“I loved how we responded in the second half, we were tough… I’m really proud of our group,” Hamilton said.

With only three seconds left in the game, the Eagles were called for goaltending on a jumper from Moreno. The sophomore was also fouled on the play and connected on a free throw. The three point play allowed the Colonels to break the 68-68 tie. 

“Michael Moreno, what a historic performance that was… I’m so proud of that kid, he plays with so much confidence and was voted team captain by his peers,” Hamilton said.

Moreno ended the night with a career-high 29 points. He made 6-of-12 from 3-point range.

Tre King finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.

EKU only had a 41.5 field goal percentage compared to MSU 67.4 percent. Eastern turned 27 Morehead State turnovers into 28 points. 

The Colonels advance to a 1-0 record in the Ohio Valley Conference.

EKU will take on Transylvania University at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12 at McBrayer Arena.

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