RICHMOND, Ky. — Hot shooting and a stifling defensive effort helped the Eastern Kentucky men’s basketball team jump out to an 18-0 lead in the opening minutes on its way to a convincing 76-64 win over Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 29 at McBrayer Arena.
With the wire-to-wire win, EKU (9-6) closes out the non-conference season 8-0 at home.
Senior Jarelle Reischel (pictured) --who missed EKU’s game with a back injury at No. 19 West Virginia on December 21 -- led the way with 26 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Junior JaVontae Hawkins contributed 15 points, four rebounds and two assists.
It was a reunion between EKU head coach Dan McHale and Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello. Both of them were part of UK's 1998 national championship team with McHale serving as a student manager and Masiello as a player.
The Colonels delivered one of their best defensive efforts of the season in the victory, forcing Manhattan (3-8) into 16 turnovers and converting those turnovers in 26 points. In the first half, EKU held the Jaspers to 24 percent (6-of-25) shooting from the field and 23 percent (3-of-13) shooting from deep in to build a comfortable lead.
Eastern’s defense coerced the Jaspers into eight turnovers on their first 12 possessions. The Colonels generated 14 points off Manhattan’s early miscues, as an alley-oop dunk by Hawkins gave EKU an 18-0 lead with 14:42 remaining in the first half.
Manhattan did not score a bucket until the 14:29 mark of the first half, when Rashawn Stores got the Jaspers on the board with a three-pointer. Stores’ long ball sparked a 10-0 run over the next 2:18 for Manhattan, closing the Eastern lead to eight, 18-10.
Eastern Kentucky opens OVC play Saturday on the road in Clarksville, Tennessee, when the Colonels take on Austin Peay at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Photo by EKU Athletics