The Eastern Kentucky Colonels fell in Knoxville, Tennessee on Wednesday night to the No. 6 team in the country, the Tennessee Volunteers, by a final of 95-67.
This was senior Nick Mayo’s 100 game he has started as a Colonel and he was the bright spot for Eastern. After the game, Mayo said he was “grateful and blessed to be able to play.” Mayo scored 23 points and collected nine rebounds, three assists and two steals in his 32 minutes of play. The senior from Maine also went perfect from the free throw line hitting all ten of his shots.
After the game head coach A.W. Hamilton talked about Mayo’s performance and leadership even when they were down by double digits.
“He is a once in a lifetime player. I’m the luckiest guy in the world to be able to coach him for a year,” Hamilton said. “You guys should have seen him in our timeouts when we were down 27, 28 points; he was positive and coaching the guys up with me. I love that kid and he comes out and haves a really good game. He didn’t shoot it great from the 3, but anytime a guy can get 23 points and go 10 for 10 from the free throw line, you know you got somebody special.”
Another stand out for EKU in this game was freshman Jomaru Brown. Brown had 14 points in the game and six rebounds.
A big key to this game for Hamilton and his team was that this was a great learning experience for them before they start Ohio Valley Conference play in just over a month.
As a team, Eastern shot 21-59 and had a field goal percentage of 35.6 percent in the game. EKU hit 17 of 25 free throws and Tennessee knocked down 18 of 25. EKU was out rebounded in the game by Tennessee 50 to 32.
Turnovers hurt the Colonels. EKU had 20 turnover and that led to 25 points for Tennessee. The Volunteers also had 14 fast break points in the game.
The Colonel's had active hands from start to finish. EKU had 13 steals in the game and Tennessee finished with only 5.
Mayo said that their focus going into the game was to put a lot of pressure on Tennessee and to get a lot of deflections and to play hard until the end.
EKU is now 3-4 on the season with losses to Marshall, Kansas State, Northern Iowa and Tennessee.
The Colonels will look to bounce back this Saturday against High Point University in High Point, North Carolina. Tip off is set for 2 p.m.