RICHMOND, Ky. – In the first round of a two-game series against in-state foe Bellarmine, Antwainette Walker scored 26 points and 10 rebounds en route to the Colonels eighth straight win inside Alumni Coliseum over the Knights by a score of 85-79 on Wednesday night.
With the win, EKU moves to 10-7 (.588) on the season and 3-1 (.750) in ASUN Conference play.
Walker, who leads the ASUN Conference in over 10 statistical categories, recorded her ninth double-double in the win with 26 points on 12-of-27 (.444) shooting from the floor.
Marissa Mackins tallied her ninth straight performance in double-figure scoring with 20 points. She hit 10-of-11 (.909) shots from the charity stripe for her career-high made free throws.
Bellarmine jumped out to an 9-2 lead off the bat over EKU, a made three from Mackins sparked the Colonels to start their own 7-0 run to tie the game at nine all. Both teams battled throughout the remainder of the first quarter, the Knights claimed the first set at 18-16.
Back-to-back buckets from Walker equalized the game at 20 to start the second quarter. Eastern Kentucky found its rhythm as Fox entered the contest and made a jumper over the Knights' Gracie Merkle to give the Colonels a 29-26 lead. Just how the quarter started, Walker hit consecutive layups to send the home team to the locker room with a 44-40 advantage.
The Colonels failed to find an answer for Merkle and the Knights for the first five minutes out of halftime, however, kept BU from taking the lead. Recanati made a highlight reel play off a steal and spin-move layup to tie the game at 52 apiece. The boxing match continued well into the latter half of the quarter as Bellarmine claimed a one-point lead to end the frame.
Baskets by Fox helped keep EKU at a four-point lead away from Bellarmine for the majority of the final frame. Walker hit a jumper with a little over 90 seconds remaining to push EKU to its largest lead of the second half. Eastern Kentucky hit the majority of its free throws to end garbage time with the 85-79 win.
Despite the Colonels victory, Merkle scored 32 points and 18 rebounds, shooting 93 percent from the floor.
Eastern Kentucky shot 47 percent from the floor, just shooting higher than Bellarmine's 45 percent.
Bellarmine outrebounded EKU 50-32, Eastern Kentucky claimed the 19-17 advantage in assists.
EKU returns to action in the second installment of the series on Saturday, January 14 as the Colonels travel to Freedom Hall at 1:00 p.m. ET. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster, fans can also view the contest on ESPN+ or listen to 92.5 WEKY with Wes Chandler on the call.
Info Courtesy of EKU Sports