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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 20, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (13,080) -- Athens, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: EMU 11-3, Ohio 14-1. Away Record: EMU 1-10, Ohio 5-5. Neutral Record: EMU 0-0, Ohio 0-0. Conference Record: EMU 5-6, Ohio 10-1. Series Record: Ohio leads, 44-23.
GAME NOTES: After notching their first true road win of the season over the weekend, the Eastern Michigan Eagles try to collect their second as they visit the Convocation Center to tangle with the Ohio Bobcats.
This will be the 67th meeting in history between these schools on the hardwood and the only regular season matchup of the 2012-13 campaign. Ohio holds a 43-23 all-time series lead, but the Eagles held the lead throughout the entire game on their way to a 68-55 decision over the Bobcats in last season's only encounter.
This matchup was originally slated to take place on Jan. 30 before a security issue on Ohio's campus arose and forced the schools to reschedule.
Rob Murphy's Eagles are coming off a 56-50 win at Ball State that improved them to a 12-13 overall record and 5-6 mark in MAC play. EMU's win was somewhat of a breakthrough after it failed to pick up a decision in any of its first 10 away games. Senior guard Derek Thompson is leading the way offensively, tallying 10.6 points per game. Pacing the Eagles in rebounding is junior center Da'Shonte Riley, who is posting 6.2 boards and 2.2 blocks per game.
EMU is leading the MAC in scoring defense with an allowed average of just 59.6 ppg and it showed off its defensive prowess at Ball State by limiting the Cardinals to 34.1 percent shooting from the field. The Eagles managed to connect on 56.4 percent of their own field goal tries to overcome a 7-of-15 showing at the free-throw line. Glenn Bryant scored 20 points and J.R. Sims tallied 18 for push EMU, which lost at home to Ball State on Jan. 9.
Coach Jim Christian's Bobcats continued their exceptional campaign over the weekend with a thrilling, 78-75, overtime victory over the Kent State Golden Flashes. The win improved Ohio to 19-6 overall and also 14-1 at home. The win was also the fourth in a row for the Bobcats, who have only lost once in MAC action. Senior point guard D.J. Cooper is pacing the unit with 13.6 points, 7.7 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Ivo Baltic is Ohio's top man on the glass with 5.2 rebounds per contest.
Ohio let a 15-point second half lead evaporate against the Golden Flashes before it watched its lead evaporate as Kent State roared back. The Bobcats managed to escape with the win after Stevie Taylor drained a clutch 3-pointer in overtime. Offutt led the team with 17 points while Cooper dealt out seven assists give him 884 for his career, tying him for 15th all-time in Division I history. Cooper's passing skills have helped Ohio to the MAC's top scoring offense at 74.5 ppg. The Bobcats are not too shabby on the defensive end either, as they are limiting the opposition to 63.8 ppg, which is the fifth best mark in the conference.
Ohio's dominance at home will play a factor in this one against an EMU team that really struggles in its opponents' buildings. Cooper should be able to guide the Bobcats to a comfortable victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio University 69, Eastern Michigan 57
02/20 11:04:58 ET
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