The EKU men’s basketball team fell to the second-ranked team in the OVC, Belmont, on Thursday night by a final of 83-65.
Belmont crashed the boards often and out-rebounded EKU 45 to 28. Eastern only grabbed four offensive rebounds the whole game.
After the game, head coach A.W. Hamilton said rebounding hurt his team and impacted how the Colonels performed. EKU was able to pick up 11 steals and block four shots in the game.
Senior Nick Mayo led the charge for the Colonels. Mayo finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. The senior from Maine was also honored before the game for breaking 2,000 points in his career at EKU.
For Belmont, Kevin McClain scored a team high 27 points and recorded a double-double with 12 rebounds.
After the game, Hamilton praised McClain’s performance.
“He is really good,” Hamilton said. “He got them going in the first half, getting them in transition, which puts a lot of pressure on your defense.”
The Bruins shot 49 percent from the field for the game. The Colonels shot 39 percent, but out-scored Belmont at the free throw line by nine.
“We didn't make our shots to keep up with them,” Hamilton said.
Over the course of the game, the Bruins had four players in double figures and forced Eastern to turn the ball over 15 times.
“I think Belmont, top to bottom, is the best team in our league,” Hamilton said.
Eastern Kentucky will look to bounce back on Saturday when they face Tennessee State in McBrayer Arena. Tip is set for 7 p.m.