Wednesday, March 18, 2015

EKU Knocks Off Norfolk State to Advance in CIT Tournament

Eastern Kentucky 81
Norfolk State 75

Final from Richmond, Kentucky

CIT Tournament - First Round

Game recap by EKU:

RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky withstood a 16-4 late-game run to beat the Norfolk State and advance in the Postseason Tournament (CIT), 81-75, Tuesday night in McBrayer Arena.

The Colonels will play at home again Friday at 7 p.m. against an opponent yet to be determined. Updates will be sent out through and @EKUHoops on twitter in the coming days. There is no formal bracket for the tournament. The match-ups for each round are determined after the preceding round is completed.

The Spartans (20-14) cut a 13-point EKU lead to one, 71-70, with 3:31 to go. After a drawn charge by sophomore guard Isaac McGlone, a Ja'Mill Powell three-pointer brought the lead back to four. Three scoreless minutes later, senior guard Corey Walden put the game away with an and-one layup with 47 seconds to go that pushed the Colonels' (20-11) lead to seven.

Walden and senior forward Eric Stutz both finished with 22 points. Walden added eight assists and three steals, equaling his nation-leading average of 3.1 per game. Stutz scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, making five of six shots.

Powell contributed 12 points to the total, all coming from three-point land. Fellow senior Timmy Knipp added 13 points, two rebounds and three assists.

Rashid Gatson, a 6-foot-9 forward, finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead Norfolk State. Gatson went 10-of-11 from the field in 38 minutes.

The Spartans shot 61 percent from the field and from three-point range. NSU also totaled 44 points in the paint but had 14 turnovers, seven more than EKU. The seven-turnover difference between the two equaled EKU's nation-leading ratio of plus 7.3.

Both teams started the game hot. Norfolk State made their first 10 shots and EKU made seven of its first eight. The Spartans went into the half shooting 68 percent from the field.

The 81 EKU points were well above the 68.5 average Norfolk State had given up per game this season. EKU also added nine steals. EKU's largest lead was 14 with 12:33 to go in the second half.

Complete Recap

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