SIU Edwardsville (9-16) at Morehead State (16-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 25th, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Johnson Arena (5,000) -- Morehead, Kentucky. Television: None. Home Record: SIUE 7-6, MSU 8-4. Away Record: SIUE 2-8, MSU 6-9. Neutral Record: SIUE 0-2, MSU 2-1. Conference Record: SIUE 6-9, MSU 9-6. Series Record: MSU leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: Ohio Valley Conference foes at opposite ends of the spectrum meet in Morehead tonight, when the Eagles play host to the SIU Edwardsville Cougars at Johnson Arena.
The Cougars earned a hard-fought 63-58 verdict over Eastern Kentucky on Thursday, giving the club back-to-back wins for only the third time this season. SIUE has only nine wins to show for its 2011-12 campaign, but six of those victories have come against league opponents.
As for Morehead State, the Eagles rebounded from a BracketBusters loss at Bowling Green last weekend with a 75-39 rout of Eastern Illinois on Thursday night. The victory was the third in the past five MSU outings, and improved their overall ledger to 16-14, while increasing their mark in OVC action to 9-6.
MSU holds a 2-1 edge over SIUE in terms of the brief all-time series between the two programs.
The Cougars got a game-high 22 points and to go with 11 rebounds from Jerome Jones in the victory over EKU. The Cougars stifled the Colonels to their lowest shooting-percentage of the season in the meeting (30.4 percent), and kept the opponent in check from long range to the tune of 3-for-27 from downtown. The Cougars shot a somewhat lackluster 44.0 percent from the floor themselves during the contest, but the squad won the battle of the boards by a 44-38 margin. Derian Shaffer scored 17 points and grabbed six boards in the win for SIUE, while Mark Yelovich finished with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. The Cougars average just 65.3 points per game this season, an underwhelming total that is compounded by the fact that the squad allows its opponents to net 71.1 ppg. Opponents own a 35.8 - 32.1 rpg edge over the Cougars as well, and the club is shooting at a lackluster 43.7 collective clip. Still, SIUE has found success from three-point range (39.1 percent), but has then oddly enough struggled at the charity stripe, to the tune of a 65.3 percent conversion rate. The Cougars do boast three players with a double- digit scoring average, beginning with Yelovich and his 14.8 ppg. Yelovich leads the way on the glass for SIUE as well (6.3 rpg), while Jones has been responsible for 13.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest. Kris Davis rounds out the trio, contributing 11.8 ppg.
Morehead State held the Panthers to their lowest point total of the season during Thursday's 36-point rout, as the Eagles kept EIU in check to the tune of a meager 34.0 percent clip that included 0-of-17 from beyond the arc. The Eagles hit 53.1 percent from the field themselves during the contest, making good on 10-of-20 from long range and 13-of-20 at the foul line. Drew Kelly scored 17 points to lead the way for MSU, while Ty Proffitt helped pace the squad with a 13-point effort. Will Bailey and Drew Kelly chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively, while Angelo Warner netted just nine points but pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds. With an underwhelming 43.1 team shooting percentage, the Eagles net just 62.5 ppg this season. MSU has however, kept the opposition in line at the other end of the court, yielding a meager 61.5 ppg on a 44.2 percent shooting clip that includes a 34.9 percent mark from long range. The Eagles also own a 31.1 - 28.5 rpg edge over their adversaries as well, and have forced 471 miscues through their 30 contests. Proffitt currently represents the only MSU player to own a double-digit scoring average, and he leads the club with a 10.2 ppg tally. Kelly does rest directly on the cusp of the achievement, however, chipping in 9.9 points to go with a club-best 4.9 rebounds per game.
The Cougars earned an upset victory their last time on the hardwood, but don't expect similar results here against the Eagles. MSU has depth and size that SIUE will find difficult to contend with, and the Eagles should run away with this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Morehead State 77, SIU Edwardsville 59
02/25 11:08:03 ET