Austin Peay (8-10) at Eastern Illinois (5-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 18, 3 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lantz Arena (5,400) -- Charleston, Illinois. Television: OVC Digital Network, WEIU. Home Record: Austin Peay 6-2, Eastern Illinois 3-5. Away Record: Austin Peay 1-7, Eastern Illinois 2-7. Neutral Record: Austin Peay 1-1, Eastern Illinois 0-0. Conference Record: Austin Peay 2-2, Eastern Illinois 2-4. Series Record: Austin Peay leads, 24-14.
GAME NOTES: The Austin Peay Governors will look to break up a two-game losing streak as they travel to face the Eastern Illinois Panthers in Ohio Valley Conference action at Lantz Arena.
Since winning three consecutive games from Dec. 30 to Jan. 4, Austin Peay has lost two in a row, dropping the Governors once again below the .500 mark on the year. The Govs are coming off a 71-67 loss to SIU-Edwardsville on Thursday.
Eastern Illinois has struggled this season to a 5-12 overall record, and has lost four of its last five games. The Panthers dropped a 70-66 contest to conference foe Murray State Thursday night.
Austin Peay leads the all-time series between the two programs, 24-14. The Governors and Panthers will meet up again this season on Feb. 13 in Clarksville.
SIU Edwardsville ended the contest against Austin Peay with a 13-1 run that erased an eight-point deficit and allowed the Cougars to complete the comeback win, 71-67, Thursday in Edwardsville. Chris Horton netted 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Governors, who fell to 2-2 in conference play this season. Will Triggs scored 17 points and added nine rebounds, but turned the ball over five times in the loss. Damarius Smith chipped in 11. Austin Peay turned the ball over 22 times in all during the defeat.
Horton paces the team this season with 14.1 ppg on a cool 60 percent shooting. The big man also leads the team in rebounding, bring in an average of 10.1 rpg through 18 matches on the year. His 55 blocked shots is other worldly compared to the rest of his team, which totals 44 blocked shots among 11 players. Travis Betran is second in scoring for the Governors, netting 13.6 ppg. Smith is the team's top passer, dishing out 105 assists this season.
Murray State and its perfect Ohio Valley Conference record proved to be just a bit too much for the Panthers Thursday night, as they fell to the Racers, 70-66, at Lantz Arena. Reggie Smith led all scorers in the game, netting 27 points on 8-of-23 shooting for Eastern Illinois. Sherman Blanford chipped in 17 points and 14 rebounds for the double-double. The Panthers shot just 30.9 percent from the floor in the game, including 11.8 percent from 3-point range.
Smith and Blanford can be found atop the team's scoring leaders, averaging 13.1 and 11.2 ppg, respectively. Blanford tops the roster in rebounding as well with 6.4 rpg. Smith leads the team in assists with 44 on the year, along with a team-best 22 steals. Chris Olivier has scored 9.3 ppg in the eight contests in which he has participated in this season.
Although Eastern Illinois made it a close game with OVC leader Murray State Thursday, this is just a team with too many question marks and weak spots. Austin Peay should be able to take advantage of a porous defense.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Austin Peay 73, Eastern Illinois 64
01/18 10:17:47 ET