EKU beats 'NCAA Tournament' team High Point, 74-67

mmaloney@herald-leader.comNovember 16, 2013 

  • Next Game

    Alabama A&M at Eastern Ky.

    When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

RICHMOND — When Eastern Kentucky absolutely had to have a basket Saturday night, the Colonels found a way.

Glenn Cosey scored 25 points to lead the Colonels to a 74-67 victory over High Point before a McBrayer Arena crowd of 5,100.

Corey Walden and Marcus Lewis added 16 points each for EKU (4-1), which won its 18th consecutive non-conference game on its home floor.

"We beat a very good basketball team," EKU Coach Jeff Neubauer said. "I'll be very surprised if High Point's not in the NCAA Tournament at the end of the year. They are the pick to win the Big South and they've got two just absolute studs in the middle in John Brown and Allan Chaney."

Brown, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, led the Panthers (1-2) with 18 points and nine rebounds. Chaney, a 6-9 graduate student who was granted a sixth year of eligibility, had 16 points and seven boards.

Still, EKU was able to keep High Point off the offensive glass.

"For us to hold them to just nine offensive rebounds, that's really spectacular for our team right now," Neubauer said.

Eastern led by as many as nine in the first half, but High Point closed with a 9-2 flurry to pull to within 32-31 at intermission.

The Panthers took the lead early in the second half in what became a see-saw contest.

Lorenzo Cugini's three-pointer with less than eight minutes left gave High Point a 55-53 lead.

Eastern went on a 21-12 run from there, though, to lock up the game.

Walden, a 6-2 junior, triggered the decisive run with a three-pointer, followed by a steal-and-layup.

After Cugini scored for High Point, Orlando Williams sank two free throws.

Then Walden rebounded a High Point miss, led a fast break, and lobbed to Lewis for a dunk that brought the crowd to its feet.

That made it 62-57, a lead the Colonels never lost.

"We're a fast team," Lewis said. "We like to get a lot of points in transition and off steals, and I'm just glad we have a lot of teammates that will give the ball up to me in transition. There's a lot of eye contact between me and 'Waldo' just because he's the one throwing me a lot of passes."

Down the stretch, Cosey drilled his fifth three-pointer of the night, Lewis scored in transition and the Colonels scored their last seven points at the free-throw line.

Cosey, who had five rebounds, even took time to mop the floor when a ball boy had trouble finding the wet spots.

"It came down to us getting rebounds and, at the end, we were getting a lot of steals and going into transition," Cosey said.

Neubauer pointed to Cosey and Walden for having "great value for the ball." Cosey finished with five assists to two turnovers, while Walden was six to one.

EKU finished with a 20-8 edge in points off turnovers, committing six errors to High Point's 15.

Other noteworthy advantages came at the three-point and free-throw lines. Eastern finished 10-for-29 from long distance, to High Point's 4-for-14.

At the foul line, Eastern went 16-for-24, including 13-for-19 in the second half. High Point finished 9-for-13, making one of only three chances in the second half.

The Panthers made it close by outrebounding EKU 35-28 and outscoring the Colonels 38-28 in the paint.

Next Game

Alabama A&M at Eastern Ky.

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @markmaloneyhl. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.

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