Eastern Kentucky (17-8) at Tennessee Tech (12-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 13, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Eblen Center (9,280) -- Cookeville, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: EKU 10-2, TTU 8-3. Away Record: EKU 6-5, TTU 4-8. Neutral Record: EKU 1-1, TTU 0-2. Conference Record: EKU 7-4, TTU 5-5. Series Record: Eastern Kentucky leads, 70-56.
GAME NOTES: The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles will try to win three straight games for the first time this season, as they battle the Eastern Kentucky Colonels in an Ohio Valley Conference clash at the Eblen Center.
Wins over Belmont (81-76) and Jacksonville State (72-60) in its last two games allowed Tennessee Tech to post back-to-back victories for just the third time this season. The Golden Eagles have been stuck in mediocrity for much of the campaign, logging a 12-13 overall record, which includes a 5-5 league ledger. They will host Morehead State next.
Eastern Kentucky has had much greater success, sporting an overall record of 17-8 and a conference mark of 7-4. However, the Colonels had a three-game win streak come to an end last Saturday when they dropped an 86-79 decision to Morehead State. The next stop on their three-game road trip is at Jacksonville State.
Last season, Eastern Kentucky swept the series with the Golden Eagles, ending a four-game win steak for Tennessee Tech over them. As a result, the Colonels own a 70-56 lead in the all-time series.
Although Eastern Kentucky outscored Morehead State, 21-10, off of turnovers, it allowed the Eagles to shoot 58.3 percent from the floor to succumb to defeat. The Colonels hit 46.3 percent from the floor in response, with Glenn Cosey netting 18 points to lead five players in double figures.
Eastern Kentucky rarely keeps foes to a low shooting percentage, the competition sinking 48 percent from the floor. However, the Colonels are usually able to make up for it by netting 47.9 percent from the field, while ranking third in the OVC in scoring (78.7 ppg). Cosey (19 ppg, 4.2 apg) is the leader of the unit in more ways than one. He runs the point and tops the team in scoring, ranking third in the OVC in that category. Corey Walden (13.2 ppg), Marcus Lewis (10.8 ppg) and Marcus Lewis (10.1 ppg) are all scoring in double figures as well, but the Colonels lack a solid presence inside as they rank last in the league in rebounding (26.8 rpg).
Tennessee Tech dominated in its recent win over Jacksonville State, as the team connected on 50.9 percent of its shots from the floor, while recording 11 more field goals than the Gamecocks, who shot 29.6 percent in the game. Dennis Ogbe scored 15 points and pulled in eight rebounds to lead the way for the victors.
The Golden Eagles are not as productive an offensive group as the Colonels, as they rank ninth in the OVC in scoring (72 ppg), and eighth in field goal percentage (.441). However, they do have the advantage on the boards, collecting nearly 10 more rebounds per game than Eastern Kentucky (36.2 rpg). Dwan Caldwell (10.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and Ogbe (10 ppg, 6 rpg) are the closest the Golden Eagles have to go-to scorers. Jeremiah Samarrippas (9.5 ppg, 4.1 apg) gets plenty of chances, but he is only connecting on 37.8 percent of his attempts from the field.
Tennessee Tech is a tough team at home (8-3), as it proved with its win over first-place Belmont. The key will be slowing down the Colonels offensively and making sure to crash the boards. If they can do both of those things, the Golden Eagles have a shot at the upset.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tennessee Tech 70, Eastern Kentucky 67
02/13 10:33:11 ET