EKU wins thriller against Radford

The Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) men’s basketball team took on the Radford Highlanders on Dec. 17 at Baptist Health Arena. EKU beat the Highlanders in a close matchup, 67-65.

Radford started the scoring on the night, making back-to-back layups before junior Michael Moreno made a 3-point shot to put the Colonels within one.

Radford scored again on a free throw by junior Shaquan Jules. EKU then took the lead with a Cooper Robb layup and two free throws by Tayshawn Comer.

Radford tied the game at seven with a jump shot at the 16-minute mark before scoring two layups to put the Highlanders ahead by four.

Devontae Blanton made a 3-pointer from an assist from Moreno to close the gap to one before Radford answered with their own 3-point shot, keeping the score difference at four.

EKU stayed behind until the 11-minute mark when freshman guard Turner Buttry made a 3-point shot from a Leland Walker assist to tie the game at 17. Radford returned with a layup before Moreno made a shot from 3-point territory, giving the Colonels the lead by one, 20-19.

Radford responded with back-to-back layups, taking the lead by three, 23-20.

Isaiah Cozart scored a layup before Comer slammed a dunk, giving EKU another one-point lead, 24-23.

EKU continued playing a back-and-forth game, tying the score four times and changing the lead 10 times throughout the first half.

The first half ended with Moreno scoring a 3-point shot off an assist from Walker before Radford scored a layup with one second on the clock.

EKU trailed heading into halftime, 31-35.

Buttry led the Colonels in the first half with six points, one rebound and three steals. Moreno recorded six points, two rebounds and two assists. Blanton had five points and five rebounds. Cozart recorded seven rebounds and four points.

EKU started the second half with a layup from Moreno before Radford recorded a 3-point shot. Comer was sent to the line and scored both of his free throws to close the gap to three, trailing 35-38.

The Colonels got within one with a jump shot by Blanton. Radford’s Jules slammed one down for his tenth point of the night and gave the Highlanders a three-point lead, 43-40.

Radford continued their scoring and took a five-point lead at the 11-minute mark before junior forward John Ukomadu made a 3-point shot, bringing the lead to two, 47-45. Jules was sent to the line and made one of two free throws.

Walker was sent to the line after a foul on Jules. Walker made both free throws and cut the lead to one, 47-48.

Blanton got the steal from Josiah Jeffers at half court and missed his layup. Radford made their 3-point shot to put them up 51-47. Walker made two more free throws and put the Colonels within two.

Comer recorded a steal before Walker's layup was blocked. Blanton was sent to the line and missed his free throw, but Moreno grabbed the rebound and tied the score at 51 with 9:25 left in the game.

The score stayed tied at 51 until 8:15 on the clock when Brayn Antoine scored a layup for Radford.

Cozart then received a pass from Comer and slammed the ball in, tying the score at 53.

Robb took the charge from Radford graduate student Onyebuchi Ezeakudo to regain possession for the Colonels. Ezeakudo recorded his fifth foul and was removed from the game.

Radford took the lead again when Justin Archer scored a layup, but Robb came back with a jump shot and took a foul from Kenyon Giles. Robb made his free throw, giving EKU a one-point lead, 56-55.

Walker then made back-to-back layups for the Colonels, putting them up by five points with 5:29 left in the game.

Walker stayed hot and scored a 3-point shot for EKU, extending their lead to seven, 63-56.

Cozart was sent to the line and made one of two free throws. Radford missed their layup and Cozart recorded the defensive rebound.

Antoine recorded the steal for Radford and made a layup, but the Highlanders were still down by six.

Radford scored another layup and closed the gap to four, 60-64, with EKU in the lead.

Cozart made another layup for the Colonels, giving them a six-point lead. Radford responded with a layup by Jeffers to put the Colonels ahead by four, 62-66.

Comer fouled on Antoine in 3-point range. Antoine made all three free throws to cut EKU’s lead to one, 66-65.

Antoine then fouled Comer who was sent to the line for two and made one. The Colonels led, 67-65, with 6.3 seconds left in the game. Radford called a timeout with the ball.

Radford inbounded the ball to Jeffers who shot a 3-point to tie, but came just short when Moreno threw a hand in his face.

The Colonels took the win, 67-65, at Baptist Health Arena.

EKU will finish their non-conference schedule on Dec. 22 at home against the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a 2 p.m. tipoff. The game will be televised on ESPN+ and aired on WCYO 100.7 FM.

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