The EKU men’s basketball team fell to the top-ranked team in the Ohio Valley Conference, Murray State by a final score of 102-70 on Saturday night in McBrayer Arena.
Murray State standout and potential NBA lottery pick, Ja Morant, started the game with style as he slammed a reverse dunk. Morant finished the game with a team-high 25 points, three steals, 14 assists and eight rebounds.
With the 14 assists, Morant set a new OVC record for assists in a single-season with 256, according to Murray State Sports. Morant passed Duane Washington who played at Middle Tennessee in 1986-87.
“Morant is really good and he does a great job,” head coach A.W. Hamilton said after the game.
Multiple NBA scouts were in attendance at the game. Scouts from the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings were evaluating Morant and EKU’s forward, Nick Mayo.
At halftime, EKU trailed the Racers 46-35. Murray St. pulled away from the Colonels in the second half.
Mayo finished the game with a double-double with a team-high 26 points and 12 rebounds.
The Racers shot 60 percent from the field, while EKU shot 35 percent. The percentage from three point range was also low for the Colonels as they finished with 30 percent shooting from beyond the arch.
Murray St. led the entire game and the Racers largest lead was 32 points.
Even with the outcome not in the Colonel’s favor, Hamilton is still proud of his guys.
“I’m proud of our guys. We went through a lot in the last 24 hours. Our starting point guard is sick, he couldn't play so we had to play a freshman at the point guard spot who hadn't played the point really all year,” Hamilton said.
Eastern now has a record of 11-16 and 4-10 in the OVC. The Colonels will have to win-out if they want to make it into the OVC tournament. Eastern Kentucky has four more games left in the season. They have the next two on the road and the last two at home.
“We still got a lot to play for,” Hamilton said. “Excited and proud of our fans. This was the biggest crowd in the last decade at EKU.”
The attendance at the game was 5,640. The max capacity for McBrayer Arena is 6,500.
EKU will travel to Tennessee Tech on Thursday to take on the Golden Eagles. Tipoff set for 8:30 p.m.