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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 3 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lantz Arena (5,300) -- Charleston, Illinois. Television: WEIU. Home Record: MSU 5-1, EIU 3-3. Away Record: MSU 4-4, EIU 1-6. Neutral Record: MSU 1-1, EIU 0-0. Conference Record: MSU 1-0, EIU 1-1. Series Record: Eastern Illinois leads, 22-12.
GAME NOTES: Morehead State tries for its first three-game win streak in nearly one calendar year when the Eagles tangle with the Eastern Illinois Panthers in Ohio Valley Conference action on Saturday afternoon.
The last time Morehead State won three in a row was Dec. 30, 2012 to Jan. 5, 2013. The final victory during that surge came against Eastern Illinois, which just happens to be the last time these conference foes met. Even though the Panthers own a 22-12 lead in the all-time series, Morehead State has won four in a row against EIU by an average of 17 points. The last victory for the Panthers in the series was a 47-40 decision at Lantz Arena on Jan. 15, 2011.
Morehead State, which is trying to begin OVC play 2-0 for the third time in four seasons, is off to a strong start thanks in part to solid rebounding and forcing turnovers. The Eagles, who lead the OVC in rebounding margin (+8.7), have only been outrebounded once in 16 games this season. Morehead State also tops the OVC by forcing an average of 17.6 turnovers per outing. While the Eagles lead the OVC with 463 free throws, but are next-to-last in making just 64.4 percent of them.
The Eagles are coming off a 70-63 win over SIU Edwardsville on Thursday. Angelo Warner led the way with 17 points. Warner shot 7-of-8 from the free- throw line and added six rebounds. Drew Kelly pitched in 12 points, while Chad Posthumus collected 10 rebounds.
Morehead State, which averages 79.2 ppg, is led by Warner (17.6 ppg). Brent Arrington (11.4 ppg) is also part of the starting lineup. Posthumus (10.6 ppg, 12.3 rpg) is second in the nation in rebounding. Kareem Storey (6.8 ppg, 6.3 apg) leads the OVC in assists, while Warner tops the conference in steals (2.4 spg).
The Panthers have dropped seven of their last eight contests, including Thursday's 100-81 decision at home to Eastern Kentucky. Sherman Blanford paced EIU with 23 points and six rebounds. Reggie Smith had 18 points and five assists, but also committed five of the Panthers' 17 turnovers. Dylan Chatman scored 13 points. Eastern Illinois allowed 100 or more points in a game at home for the first time Jan. 22, 1986.
Smith (12.3 ppg) and Blanford (10.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg) are the only players averaging double figures for the Panthers, who are last in the OVC at 62.2 ppg. They're allowing foes to shoot 41 percent from 3-point range, which is the worst mark in the conference. Alex Austin (9.4 ppg) is the top perimeter threat for the Panthers, as he has gone 20-of-55 from beyond the arc.
A win here would give Morehead State its fifth road triumph of the season, which would surpass its total from the entire 2012-13 campaign.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Morehead State 74, Eastern Illinois 66
01/04 10:34:05 ET
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