Eastern Illinois (12-15) at Morehead State (15-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 23rd, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Johnson Arena (6,500) -- Morehead, Kentucky. Television: None. Home Record: EIU 7-7, MSU 7-4. Away Record: EIU 5-8, MSU 6-9. Neutral Record: EIU 0-0, MSU 2-1. Conference Record: EIU 5-9, MSU 8-6. Series Record: EIU leads, 22-10.
GAME NOTES: Morehead State begins its final week of regular-season play tonight, when the Eastern Illinois Panthers visit Johnson Arena for an Ohio Valley Conference tilt.
The Panthers saw a three-game win streak come to an end over the weekend, as the squad dropped a hard-fought 67-63 decision to Illinois-Chicago on Saturday. The setback left the Eagles with a meager 12-15 tally to their 2011-12 campaign, in addition to a 5-9 mark in league action.
As for MSU, the Eagles had a modest two-game win streak snapped last Saturday in a 73-60 final at Bowling Green. The Eagles fell to 15-14 overall on the year after the loss, but still own a respectable 8-6 record in OVC play.
EIU leads, 22-10, in terms of the all-time series between the two programs.
A mediocre shooting night doomed the Panthers against UIC, as the club shot at an underwhelming 44.1 percent clip that included just 5-of-13 from long range in the four-point loss. The Panthers were edged out on the glass by a 31-29 margin as well, and got to the foul line just nine times, making good on six of those opportunities. Jeremy Granger scored 18 points to lead EIU in the losing effort, while the duo of Joey Miller and L.C. Doss chipped in 10 points apiece. Opponents are shooting at a 44.8 percent clip against the Panthers this season, netting 67.5 points per game as a result. At the other end of the court, EIU tallies just 66.0 ppg itself, via a 43.6 team shooting percentage. The squad has struggled from three-point land (34.8 percent), but has made the most of their opportunities at the foul line with a 75.5 percent conversion rate. Granger leads the way in scoring this season, netting 15.6 ppg, while Miller checks in with a 10.6 ppg mark to go with 80 assists. Alfonzo McKinnie rounds out a trio of double-digit scorers, chipping in 10.2 points to go with a team-leading 7.2 rebounds per contest.
The Eagles shot a respectable 47.9 percent from the field but allowed BGSU to connect on 57.1 percent of its attempts from the floor during last Saturday's 13-point loss. MSU hit a mere 5-for-13 from beyond the arc in the meeting, and struggled at the foul line as well, with an underwhelming 9-of-14 mark at the stripe. Ty Proffitt scored 18 points to lead the way for the Eagles, while Drew Kelly tallied 12 points and collected five rebounds in a losing effort. The Eagles average just 62.0 ppg this season, but have also kept the opposition in check to the tune of 62.2 ppg as well. MSU is shooting 42.8 percent as a team this season, but has had success from beyond the arc (35.9 percent) as well as at the foul line (75.0 percent) to help keep pace with opponents. Terrance Hill leads the Eagles in scoring with a 13.3 ppg tally on the year, while Proffitt represents the only other MSU player to own a double- digit scoring average (10.1 ppg). Kelly, however, stands at the cusp of a double figure mark, chipping in 9.9 ppg.
Morehead State gets the nod here, although neither team has exactly been a sure thing at any given point this season. Still, the Eagles have lit up the scoreboard at times, and the Panthers do not have the talent to keep pace should this be one of those occasions.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Morehead State 74, Eastern Illinois 65
02/23 10:38:22 ET