Eastern Kentucky (14-6) at Belmont (15-7)
GAME NOTES: Two teams vying for the Ohio Valley Conference East Division crown will square off at the Curb Events Center on Saturday, evening, as the Belmont Bruins play host to the Eastern Kentucky Colonels.
The Bruins enter this contest with a three-game win streak in tow. Belmont, which is an impressive 7-1 at home this season, knocked off Morehead State in Nashville on Thursday and sits atop the OVC East Division at 6-1.
The Colonels are only a game behind at 5-2 in league play. Eastern Kentucky brings a four-game win streak into this contest after running away with a 94-78 decision at Tennessee State on Thursday.
Belmont holds a 3-2 series advantage over Eastern Kentucky, but it is the Colonels seeking the regular-season sweep after recording a 74-63 win at home against the Bruins on Jan. 16.
The Colonels found their rhythm early and cruised to the win over Tennessee State, shooting a sizzling 54.7 percent from the floor, fueled in part by an impressive 13-of-25 effort from behind the arc. EKU also took advantage of TSU's sloppy ball-handling, turning 16 turnovers into 26 points. Glenn Cosey had a strong all-around game, finishing with 24 points, six rebounds and five assists. Four other Colonels joined Cosey in double figures, as Tarius Johnson finished with 13 points, both Marcus Lewis and Isaac McGlone tacked on 11, while Eric Stutz chipped in with 10.
Offensive fireworks are nothing new for Eastern Kentucky, which enters this game averaging a solid 78.2 ppg on an efficient .481 shooting. The Colonels have a balanced attack, led by Cosey, who ranks third in the OVC at 18.9 ppg. Corey Walden (12.9 ppg) and Lewis (10.9 ppg) have started every game alongside Cosey, while Orlando Williams (10.2 ppg) provides a spark coming off the bench for EKU.
The Bruins would probably feel comfortable turning this game into a shootout, as they have the personnel to match. Belmont is averaging 78.8 ppg this year on an even 50 percent shooting from the floor. JJ Mann headlines a quarter of Bruins in double figures at 16.5 ppg. Craig Bradshaw is a close second with 15.8 ppg, while Drew Windler and Reece Chamberlain check in with 10.8 and 10.4 ppg, respectively.
Belmont was right on its season average, knocking down half of its shots against Morehead State in the 14-point victory on Thursday. Bradshaw led all scorers with 24 points, going 8-of-17 from the floor and a perfect 7-of-7 from the free-throw line. Mann poured in 19 points, while Chamberlain added 17, while doling out a team-high six assists.
This one should be fun to watch as both teams have a knock for scoring. The Bruins have a chance to avenge the only conference loss on the docket thus far and should be able to use their homecourt advantage to do so.
GAME NOTES: Two teams vying for the Ohio Valley Conference East Division crown
will square off at the Curb Events Center on Saturday, evening, as the Belmont
Bruins play host to the Eastern Kentucky Colonels.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: Curb Events Center (5,085) -- Nashville, Tennessee.
Television: OVC Digital Network. Home Record: EKU 7-1, Belmont 7-1. Away
Record: EKU 6-4, Belmont 6-6. Neutral Record: EKU 1-1, Belmont 2-0. Conference
Record: EKU 5-2, Belmont 6-1. Series Record: Belmont leads, 3-2.Game Date and Time
Saturday, January 25, 8 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
Belmont 78, Eastern Kentucky 74