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Texas-Pan American (0-1) vs. Eastern Kentucky (0-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 13th, 6:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gentile Center (5,200) -- Chicago, Illinois. Television: None. Home Record: UTPA 0-0, EKU 0-0. Away Record: UTPA 0-0, EKU 0-1. Neutral Record: UTPA 0-1, EKU 0-0. Conference Record: UTPA 0-0, EKU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Nick Kladis Classic continues this evening in Chicago, as the Eastern Kentucky Colonels and the Texas-Pan American Broncs square off at the Gentile Center.
The Broncs were no match for Indiana State in Friday's opener, and stumbled to a 69-45 setback. Last season, UTPA suffered through a 28-loss campaign and was embarrassed down the stretch, dropping 17 of its last 19 contests.
The Colonels suffered a similar fate in their season opener, as they were punished by the host team, Loyola-Chicago, 73-57. Eastern Kentucky is coming off just its seventh 20-win campaign ever, and there are high hopes for this team, so look for coach Jeff Neubauer's squad to get on track tonight.
UTPA and EKU are meeting for the first time in this clash.
The Broncs tied last night's game at 15-15, but a 23-5 run by Indiana State left UTPA laying in the dust. The Broncs were unable to charge back, and ended the contest on the wrong end of a 69-46 final. The team was ice cold offensively, shooting just 24.5 percent from the floor, and that included an equally poor 6-of-21 showing from behind the arc. Perry Petty was the lone double-figure scorer for Texas-Pan American, finishing with 11 points. However, the guard did most of his damage from the foul line, netting 6-of-7 free throw attempts. The Broncs started four guards in the contest, but if a team is going to use that gameplan, those players must be able to score on a consistent basis.
The Colonels were an outstanding shooting team last season, but they must have been rusty in their season opener, because coach Neubauer's club shot a miserable 33.9 percent en route to a 16-point loss to Loyola-Chicago. Joshua Jones and Spencer Perrin led the way for EKU with 14 points apiece, while Willie Cruz added 10 points, despite shooting just 3-of-11 from the field. Jones, who averaged 8.9 ppg last season, will need to continue to be the scoring threat in the backcourt for Eastern Kentucky. However, the arrival of Devin McDonald was supposed to give coach Neubauer another scorer this season, but McDonald's first game for his new squad was uneventful, as the guard finished with just two points in 26 minutes of action.
Last night's offensive showing was not the norm for EKU, so expect the Colonels to put forth a much better effort in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Eastern Kentucky 73, Texas-Pan American 53
11/13 10:35:28 ET
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