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Racers pull away for win over Eastern

RICHMOND – Visiting Murray State used a 25-4 run late in the second half to pull away for a 102-70 win over the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team on Saturday night at McBrayer Arena.

After trailing by as many as 18 points in the first half, EKU (11-16, 4-10 OVC) rallied and pulled to within eight when senior Nick Mayo drained a three-pointer to make it 63-55 with 11:12 to play in the game.

First-place Murray State (21-4, 12-2 OVC), however, responded with a run that sealed the game. Devin Gilmore converted a layup to spark the run and, less than seven minutes later, Tevin Brown ended it with a free throw that made it a 29-point game, 88-59.

Mayo finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds, his fourth double-double in EKU’s last six games. The senior was 10-of-18 from the field and 3-of-5 from deep.

Freshman Jomaru Brown contributed 19 points and was 10-of-10 from the free throw line. Fellow freshman Tre King just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds, eight of which were offensive.

As a team, EKU was a perfect 15-of-15 from the free throw line.

Ja Morant led Murray State with 25 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds.

The Racers shot 61 percent (37-of-61) from the field and 43.5 percent (10-of-23) from deep.

Eastern narrowly won the turnover battle on the night, 18-17. However, Murray State out-rebounded EKU, 36-31. The Racers also outscored the Colonels in the paint, 54-18.

EKU hits the road next week to face Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State.