EKU advances after rare post-season win

Lady 'Toppers win in OT in Wnit opener

March 22, 2013 

Eastern Kentucky's men's basketball team will face Evansville on Saturday in the second round of the Postseason Tournament.

The game, scheduled for 1:30 p.m., will be at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville.

The Colonels (25-9) beat Gardner-Webb, 69-62, on the road Tuesday. Evansville (19-14) knocked off the Ohio Valley Conference's Tennessee State, 84-72, at home on Tuesday.

The win at Gardner-Webb was EKU's first in a national post-season tournament in 68 years. On March 17, 1945, EKU beat Southern Illinois in the third-place game of the National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball Tournament. (The NAIB became the NAIA in 1952).

This is Eastern's first post-season appearance since playing in the College Basketball Invitational in 2010 and its third post-season trip in the last eight years.

EKU sophomore forward Eric Stutz is from nearby Newburgh, Ind. He played at Castle High School with Blake Simmons, the son of Evansville Coach Marty Simmons. Blake Simmons signed to play with the Purple Aces next season.

Stutz has averaged 16.7 points, seven rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals in three post-season games. He's made 71 percent of his shots from the field and 75 percent of his free throws during the last three games.

Ryan Colt, a 6-foot-5 senior guard, leads the team in scoring (19.6 points per game), assists (4.1 per game) and steals (1.5 per game).

Women's NIT

Western Kentucky 88, East Carolina 77 (OT): Alexis Govan's three-pointer with 11 seconds remaining forced overtime, and the Lady Toppers outscored East Carolina 15-4 in the extra session to advance to the second round of the 2013 Women's National Invitation Tournament.

The Lady Toppers (22-10) will play at Auburn on Sunday. Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m.

Men's NIT

Maryland 62, Denver 52: At College Park, Md., Maryland used a small lineup to mount a big comeback in a 62-52 victory over Denver on Thursday night in the second round of the NIT.

Dez Wells scored 19 points for the Terrapins, who closed with a 23-4 run after trailing 48-39 with 9:15 left. Wells fueled the surge with nine points. It was the sixth game in 12 days for the Terrapins (24-12).

Chris Udofia scored 24 for the Pioneers (22-10), including 19 during a first half that featured three ties and 12 lead changes. But he got his third foul with 17:55 left and fourth with 8:37 to go.

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