Eastern Kentucky (1-2) at Liberty (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 18th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Vines Center (8,085) -- Lynchburg, Virginia. Television: Local. Home Record: Eastern Kentucky 0-0, Liberty 1-0. Away Record: Eastern Kentucky 1-2, Liberty 1-1. Neutral Record: Eastern Kentucky 0-0, Liberty 0-0. Conference Record: Eastern Kentucky 0-0, Liberty 0-0. Series Record: Liberty leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: Eastern Kentucky continues its long season-opening road swing this evening, taking on Liberty in the 2K Sports Classic.
Eastern Kentucky has dropped two of its first three games of the season, all of which have come on the road. The latest setback for the Colonels came last Monday night, losing 78-50 to Presbyterian. Eastern Kentucky has also lost to Mississippi State, while beating Winthrop, and following a three-game set in Lynchburg will travel to Norfolk State and Delaware State to close out its November slate.
After falling to Texas A&M in the opener Liberty earned its first win of the season against Randolph College last week and followed the win by beating Randolph College (81-58) and William and Mary 75-72 on the road in Williamsburg. David Minaya led the Flames with 20 points, and Antwan Burrus added 14. Liberty will embark on a three-game road swing following its slate in the 2K Sports Classic this weekend, beginning with a matchup with Georgia State in Atlanta on November 26th.
Liberty leads the all-time series with Eastern Kentucky, 2-1.
Eastern Kentucky was led by Jaron Jones' 15 points in the loss to Presbyterian, while Mike DiNunno added 11 points. It was an ugly shooting performance for the Colonels, who hit just 1-of-19 from three-point range, while Presbyterian canned 10 trifectas and cruised after building 42-23 halftime lead. DiNunno leads the team in scoring through three games, averaging 13.7 ppg. Joshua Jones is posting 10.3 ppg, but is the only other player averaging double figures in scoring as Eastern Kentucky is shooting 41.1 percent from the field in the field. The Colonels are being outscored 71.0 to 62.3 thus far.
Minaya's 20 points against William and Mary came on 7-of-13 shooting, and he added seven boards in the winning effort. Burrus hit 7-of-11 shots to lead the Flames' frontcourt with 14 points, while John Caleb Sanders added 12 points and Jesse Sanders had 11 points and seven boards to go along with his eight assists. Liberty hit 29-of-59 from the field, and forced 16 William and Mary turnovers along with seven steals. John Caleb Sanders leads the team in scoring with 15.7 ppg, while Minaya is chipping in 12.3 ppg and 4.3 rpg. Jesse Sanders is registering 10.0 ppg and a team-high 6.7 rpg.
Eastern Kentucky is having problems finding scoring production early this season, and is running up against a Liberty team that has played well defensively in the past two wins. Liberty is very balanced on the offensive end of the floor, with five players averaging double figure scoring through three games. The Flames are outrebounding their opponents 35.3-31.3 in those games. Give the Flames the edge on their home floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Liberty 78, Eastern Kentucky 65
11/18 10:43:11 ET