Tennessee Tech (Steve Payne) (11-11) vs. Eastern Kentucky
Tennessee Tech fell to EKU by a score of 80-73 on Thursday night. EKU had four Colonels score in double figures. Tennessee Tech (11-11, 5-7) opened the game with a 14-8 lead, but Eastern Kentucky went on a 21-5 run to take a 29-19 advantage on a Rose 3-pointer. The Colonels made nine 3-pointers in the first half and took a 43-32 lead into halftime for their seventh win in nine games and third straight. Kevin Murphy led Tennessee Tech with 21 points, including going 6-for-9 from 3-point range.
Louisiana-Lafayette (Robert Lee) (8-14) vs. Florida International
Chris Gradnigo scored 31 points and Louisiana-Lafayette defeated Florida International 90-73 on Thursday night. The Ragin’ Cajuns (8-14, 5-6 Sun Belt Conference) shot 46.7 percent from behind the 3-point arc (14 of 30), just one game after shooting five percent (2 of 38) from long range at Florida Atlantic on Saturday. Randell Daigle and Gradnigo each hit five 3-pointers. Daigle added 15 points for the Ragin’ Cajuns and LaRyan Gary chipped in 12. Louisiana-Lafayette led by as many as 24 points, 71-47 on a Travis Bureau 3-pointer with 13:33 left to play. Gradnigo, who had 22 points in the first half, was the first Louisiana-Lafayette player since Anthony Johnson on Jan. 24, 2002 to score 30-plus points in the Cajundome.
Arkansas State (Elwyn McRoy) (13-9) vs. Troy
Troy defeated Arkansas State 85-77 Thursday night for the Trojans’ seventh straight win, the longest current winning streak in the Sun Belt Conference, and coach Don Maestri’s 450th career victory.The Trojans (14-10, 9-3) trailed only once, at 30-29, and led 41-34 at halftime. Troy led by 24 points at 80-56 with 6:40 remaining. Eric McKinney led the Red Wolves, who have lost four straight to Troy, with 16 points. Donald Boone added 15 and Brandon Ayers and Yima Chia-Kur had 10 apiece.
UIC (Tracy Dildy) (10-12) vs. Cleveland State
Cleveland State got a 66-63 win over Illinois-Chicago on Thursday night. Cleveland State (16-8, 7-5 Horizon League) trailed the entire second half until a late three-pointer. Cleveland State sealed the game by making two foul shots with seven seconds left. Illinois-Chicago (10-12, 3-9) led 48-37 points with just over 16 minutes left, when the Vikings went on an 11-2 run. Robo Kreps led the Flames with 19 points. Scott Vandermeer added 13 points and 10 rebounds; Tori Boyd scored 11 points and Josh Mayo, who missed the last game with with a sprained ankle, chipped in 10.