Tennessee Tech (11-13) at Jacksonville State (10-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 8, 12 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Pete Mathews Coliseum (5,300) -- Jacksonville, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: Tennessee Tech 8-3, Jacksonville State 7-2. Away Record: Tennessee Tech 3-8, Jacksonville State 2-12. Neutral Record: Tennessee Tech 0-2, Jacksonville State 1-1. Conference Record: Tennessee Tech 4-5, Jacksonville State 4-6. Series Record: Tennessee Tech leads, 15-10.
GAME NOTES: The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles managed to end a four-game losing streak with a win last Saturday. They'll try for two in a row as they hit the road to face the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup at Pete Mathews Coliseum.
The victory that ended the four-game skid for Tennessee Tech was a big one. The Golden Eagles were able to take down Belmont, 81-76, to hand the Bruins their second conference loss all season. Tennessee Tech is 4-5 in the OVC - three and a half games back of Belmont for the OVC East Division lead.
Jacksonville State has lost its last two games, and three of its last four. The Gamecocks were downed by Morehead State, 65-54, in their most recent outing last Saturday. Jacksonville State's 4-6 OVC record has the team four games back of Belmont in the conference's East Division.
Tennessee Tech holds a 15-10 all-time series lead over Jacksonville State. This is the first of two regular-season meetings between Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State, with the latter scheduled for Feb. 22.
Tennessee Tech took a four-point lead into the intermission against Belmont, and narrowly edged out the Bruins in the second frame, 45-44, to secure the five-point victory over the OVC's top team from the East Division. Josiah Moore came off the bench to lead the Golden Eagles in scoring with 22 points, adding eight rebounds to his stat line. Javon McKay added 13 points, Dwan Caldwell chipped in 12 and Jeremiah Samarrippas turned in 11 points.
Caldwell is the only Golden Eagles player averaging double-digit point total this season with a 10.2 ppg mark. The center is shooting an impressive 53.8 percent from the floor, and adds a 5.5 rpg average, which is second behind Dennis Ogbe's 5.9 rpg. Ogbe is second on the squad in scoring at 9.8 ppg. Samarrippas leads the team with a 4 apg average.
Jacksonville State took a two-point advantage into the half against Morehead State, but came out shooting just 32 percent from the floor in the second frame. The cold spell allowed the Eagles to climb back into the driver's seat and hang on for the win. Avery Moore scored 13 points to lead the Gamecocks, and D.J. Felder notched 12 points in the loss. JSU shot 38.8 percent from the floor in the contest.
Darion Rackley, who scored just four points against Morehead State, still leads the team in scoring this season with a 12.6 ppg average on just 39.5 percent shooting from the floor. Rackley's 27 steals tops the squad, and his 51 assists is second to only Brian Williams's 90 total on the year. Williams, though, is second to Rackley in scoring at 11.7 ppg. Nick Cook's 5.2 rpg average is a team-high as well.
Neither of these two squads has made a serious push to get back up toward the top of the OVC standings. Jacksonville State's return home after a four-game road trip might be enough to spark the Gamecocks to victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Jacksonville State 69, Tennessee Tech 63
02/08 10:14:14 ET