Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team closed a 15-point second half deficit to one with 24 seconds left in the game, but fell to visiting Eastern Illinois University, 54-53, on Saturday at McBrayer Arena.
Junior Nick Mayo had 12 points for EKU. DeAndre Dishman finished with 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
The Panthers (6-9, 2-2 OVC) went in front by 15, for the fourth time in the second half, on a jumper by Montell Goodwin with 11:09 left in the game. The Colonels (6-11, 0-4 OVC) answered by putting together a 17-5 run to close the gap to three.
Mayo and Dishman combined to score 12 of the 17 points during the run. A free throw by Dedric Boyd with 1:55 left in the game capped the run and made it 52-49.
Boyd made it a one-point game on a jumper with 34 seconds to play. The Colonels had the ball with a chance to take the lead with 11 seconds remaining but turned it over. EIU missed the front end of a 1-and-1 to give the ball back with seven ticks left, but an off-balance three-pointer at the buzzer for Eastern missed.
Muusa Dama finished with a game-best 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Panthers. Goodwin had 15 points and six boards.
The Colonels shot just 33 percent from the field while Eastern Illinois connected on 37 percent of its shots. Eastern Kentucky went 14-for-21 at the free throw line.
EKU will take to the road this week for a two-game Ohio Valley Conference road trip beginning Thursday at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.
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Associate Director of EKUSports Communications