RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team took the lead with a 16-0 run in the first half and never looked back on its way to an 88-69 win over visiting Southeast Missouri on Saturday afternoon at McBrayer arena.
The Colonels never surrendered the lead after holding the Redhawks scoreless for 4:32 early in the first half. The 16-0 run started with the Colonels trailing 10-6. Sophomore Paul Jackson nailed a jumper to cut the deficit to two. Junior Isaac McGlone followed with a three-pointer that gave EKU the lead for good. Senior Jarelle Reischel scored the next seven points for EKU, including a driving baseline dunk and a three from the left wing.
Junior JaVontae Hawkins chimed in with a lay-up, and freshman Nick Mayo finished off the run off with a lay-up that made it 22-10 at the 12:48 mark of the first half.
A jumper at the buzzer by Hawkins sent the Colonels into the locker room at halftime up by 10, 43-33.
Defense played a role throughout the game for the Colonels. In addition to the scoreless streak in the first half, EKU held SEMO scoreless on two different three-minute stretches in the second half.
After the Redhawks cut the lead to six twice in the second half, the Colonels put the game out of reach with a 13-3 run, culminating with a Jaylen Babb-Harrison layup that made it 68-52 with 8:28 remaining in the game. Eastern’s second half run included a 3:05 stretch without scoring by Southeast.
Babb-Harrison exploded for 16 points in the second half and, at one point, scored 11 points in a span of two minutes to spark the Colonels’ decisive second-half spurt. The junior from Ontario finished with a season-high 18 points on 4-of-5 shooting from deep.
Reischel scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds. The senior transfer from Rhode Island extended his double-digit points streak to 13 straight games. He has only failed to reach double-digits one time this season, when he finished with nine points against Ball State.
In total, four Colonels hit the double-digit mark in the game. Mayo tallied 15 points to go along with a team-best seven rebounds and three blocks, while Hawkins scored 13 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists.
Jackson returned to the lineup and orchestrated the offense effectively, handing out a game-high nine assists.
Isiah Jones scored a team-best 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds for the Redhawks. Joel Angus III had 12 points and eight boards.
EKU shot 50 percent from the field for the game, going 33-of-66. SEMO shot 38.6 percent, going 22-of-57.
The Colonels return to action Thursday night on the road against Eastern Illinois. Tip is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.
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