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Ohio University (13-5) at Eastern Michigan (11-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 25, 11 a.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (9,500) -- Ypsilanti, Michigan. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Ohio 8-3, EMU 8-2. Away Record: Ohio 5-2, EMU 3-5. Neutral Record: Ohio 0-0, EMU 0-0. Conference Record: Ohio 3-2, EMU 3-2. Series Record: Ohio University leads, 44-23
GAME NOTES: In the second leg of their current three-game homestand, the Eastern Michigan Eagles host the Ohio University Bobcats in a Mid-American Conference clash at the Convocation Center.
Ohio came up just short against Bowling Green on Wednesday, falling in a 58-56 final. The Bobcats had won six of their previous seven bouts and are still holding a solid 13-5 overall mark, although they are a middling 3-2 in MAC play. A home date against Central Michigan is next on the schedule.
Eastern Michigan also lost on Wednesday, dropping a 78-68 decision against Akron to begin the homestand. The Eagles had won four of their previous five and are now 11-7 overall, with an identical 3-2 mark against the league. They will wrap up the string of home games this Wednesday against Bowling Green.
This conference rivalry has been dead even in recent years, with the teams splitting the last six meetings. Ohio claimed a 73-50 triumph in last year's lone encounter, and leads the all-time series as a result, 44-23.
Ohio led 51-50 with just over five minutes to play against Bowling Green on Wednesday, but the team went 2-of-7 from the floor in the final minutes to let the game slip away. T.J. Hall paced the Bobcats in the losing effort with 15 points.
Although they are certainly not an overly impressive offensive team, the Bobcats normally score more than they did against the Falcons, averaging 71.3 ppg on 44.5 percent shooting. The defensive performance on Wednesday was expected as the Bobcats let up only 63.2 ppg on 38 percent shooting. Maurice Ndour (14.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Nick Kellogg (14.4 ppg) are the only players on the team averaging in double figures. Ndour sinks 51.1 percent of his shots from the floor and is coming off a 12-point effort. Kellogg tallied 10 points and a team-high four turnovers in the losing effort.
Eastern Michigan did not defend well enough on the perimeter against Akron, as it was outscored 30-15 from 3-point range on Wednesday. The Eagles were also outscored 15-8 on second chance points. Karrington Ward led the way in defeat with 20 points.
The Eagles are one of the strongest defensive teams in the conference. They are holding foes to 64.9 ppg while ranking sixth in the nation in opponent field goal percentage (.375). However, they have not picked up more wins due to mediocre performances at the offensive end (69.2 ppg, .428 FG percentage). Ward (13.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg) leads the team in scoring and rebounding. He has reached double figures in five of the last six games. Mike Talley (10.5 ppg) is another decent scorer, but he connects on just 38.9 percent from the floor, while Raven Lee (10.2 ppg) and Glenn Bryant (10.1 ppg) add some offensive punch, although the duo combined for eight points on Wednesday.
Ohio has not backed down when on the road, with five wins in seven previous trips. Although finding offense will be a challenge, the Bobcats play well enough on defense to expect a victory over the low-scoring Eagles.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio University 71, Eastern Michigan 67
01/25 10:14:08 ET