The Norse from Northern Kentucky made the trip to Richmond on Saturday night to face EKU in McBrayer Arena.
The game came down to the last five seconds. Senior Nick Mayo faded away on the baseline and hit the game winning shot over the NKU defender, sealing the deal for EKU as they defeated NKU by a final of 76-74.
“I was going to pull a three, but I seen someone on the wing cut and I saw a driving lane so I was able to plant my feet and get to my spot and I was able to knock it down,” Mayo said after the game.
This was Mayo’s second game winner this season. Last Saturday, he hit a buzzer beater against High Point.
Defense and poor shooting was the story in the first half of the game. EKU went 0 of 12 from 3 point range in the first half and shot 30 percent on field goals. NKU didn’t do much better. The Norse went 35.7 percent on field goals and 15.4 percent on 3 point shots in the first.
At halftime, the game was tied up at 29.
EKU and NKU tied 14 times in the game and there were eight lead changes. Overall, the game was tied for a total of 10:16 throughout the game and NKU’s largest lead was six while EKU’s largest lead was five.
“I’m so proud of these guys because Northern is really good and they went up on us and we could have laid down, but these guys are figuring out ways to win,” head coach A.W. Hamilton said after the game.
Mayo led the Colonels with 27 points and 11 rebounds. NKU was led by Drew McDonald with 23 points and Tyler Sharpe with 18 points.
Freshman Jomaru Brown also played a key game for EKU. Brown finished with 16 points coming off the bench. He also led the team with four assists.
“I thought in the second half we can’t win that game without Jomaru Brown. I thought he came in and was electric. I thought he was awesome. He made some big shots for us and it took a lot of pressure off Nick,” Hamilton said.
Eastern is back in action next Saturday as they travel to Xavier. Tip off in Cincinnati will be at 8 p.m.