SIU Edwardsville (9-17) at Eastern Illinois (10-20)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 2, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lantz Arena (5,400) -- Charleston, Illinois.
Television: None. Home Record: SIUE 8-5, EIU 4-9. Away Record: SIUE 1-12, EIU
4-11. Neutral Record: SIUE 0-0, EIU 2-0. Conference Record: SIUE 5-10, EIU
5-10. Series Record: EIU leads, 4-2.
GAME NOTES: With a spot in the upcoming OVC Tournament at stake, the SIU
Edwardsville Cougars and Eastern Illinois Panthers will close out their
respective regular-season schedules against one another at Lantz Arena.
SIUE notched a 49-45 win in Edwardsville last month, although the Cougars have
never won in Charleston. EIU holds a 4-2 lead in the all-time series, and the
winner of today's rematch will earn their way into the conference tournament.
The Cougars' road struggles are certainly not limited to Charleston, as they
are just 1-12 as the visiting team this season. They have lost four in a row
and six of their last seven games overall. SIUE's last outing resulted in a
lopsided 73-43 setback at OVC regular-season champion Belmont on Wednesday
night. The Cougars hardly knew what hit them in that contest, as the Bruins
made 13 of their first 16 shots and raced out to a 28-9 lead. Things only
continued to spiral downhill in the second half for the Cougars, who shot a
mere 4-of-22 from the floor after halftime. Kris Davis led all scorers with 19
points, while teammate Tim Johnson scored 13. However, the rest of the Cougars
combined for only 11 points. SIUE has struggled to find consistent offense in
the absence of leading scorer Jerome Jones (16.2 ppg), who was suspended
indefinitely last month.
EIU enters this matchup with some momentum, as the team has won three of its
last four games. Most recently, the Panthers notched a 58-50 victory at
Chicago State on Tuesday. Three days before that, they posted a 59-47 road win
over Northern Illinois.
Strong defense has certainly been the key for the Panthers in their last two
victories. Earlier this week, they held Chicago State to a dismal 31-percent
shooting effort from the floor. On the offensive end, Malcolm Herron scored a
career-best 14 points behind 5-of-8 shooting from the field and 3-of-5
accuracy from beyond the arc. Alex Austin and Josh Piper joined him in double
figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Sherman Blanford, the OVC's
ninth-leading rebounder (6.6 rpg), pulled down 12 boards to go along with
seven points. His 86 offensive rebounds this season are the third-highest
total in school history. Blanford is second on the team in scoring (10.6 ppg)
behind Morris Woods, a 51-percent shooter from the floor who averages 10.8
points per game.
SIUE won the first meeting between these two teams, but the Cougars' struggles
outside of Edwardsville are well documented. They'll need to bring their A-
game if they hope to change that and make it into the OVC tourney.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Eastern Illinois 56, SIU Edwardsville 48
03/02 10:43:41 ET
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