Evansville (2-2) at Tennessee Tech (3-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 20, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Eblen Center (9,282) -- Cookeville, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: Evansville 2-1, Tenn Tech 2-0. Away Record: Evansville 0-1, Tenn Tech 1-0. Neutral Record: Evansville 0-0, Tenn Tech 0-0. Conference Record: Evansville 0-0, Tenn Tech 0-0. Series Record: Evansville leads, 10-3.
GAME NOTES: The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles set their sights on their fourth straight victory to start the season, as they welcome the Evansville Purple Aces to the Eblen Center on Tuesday.
The Golden Eagles haven't exactly opened up the year with top-shelf competition, but the team is still 3-0 overall, with wins over Crowley's Ridge (107-32), Coastal Carolina (71-69) and most recently, East Tennessee State (65-62). Tennessee Tech is aiming for its first 4-0 start since the 1996-97 season.
The Purple Aces begin the season with a pair of competitive losses to Notre Dame (58-49) and Buffalo (56-50), but have rallied with back-to-back wins over Yale (66-56) and Western Illinois (49-44) to get back to .500 on the year.
Evansville leads the series by a 10-3 count, but Tennessee Tech won last year's matchup, 72-70 on the road.
The Purple Aces are only four games into the season but the running theme thus far has been a severe lack of offensive punch. Evansville is averaging an ugly 53.5 ppg, doing so on just .366 shooting from the floor, including .234 from behind the arc. The team's saving grace is holding foes to the same 53.5 ppg, although opponents do hold a +9.9 rebounding margin this season. A big reason for Evansville's sluggish start at the offensive end has been the availability of standout shooter Colt Ryan, who has played just 10 minutes in the last three games combined, recovering from a hip-pointer.
Evansville scored just 49 points last time out, but it was enough in a five- point win over the Leathernecks. Jordan Jahr led the team in scoring in the win with 13 points. Ned Cox chipped in 11 points, despite shooting just 4- of-12 from the field.
The Golden Eagles have had no such problems at the offensive end, averaging 81.0 ppg on a robust .549 shooting. A big reason for the success is the team's unselfish play, averaging 15.0 assists per game. It also helps to have one of the nation's top scorers in senior Jud Dillard. The veteran guard ranks second nationally in scoring at 28.0 ppg, while also leading the team and the OVC in rebounding (10.3 rpg). Jeremia Samarrippas is a distant second in the scoring department at 9.0 ppg.
Dillard was at it once again in the win over East Tennessee State, pouring in 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting. Samarrippas and Dennis Ogbe added 11 points apiece, for the Golden Eagles, who shot a solid .532 from the floor, offsetting 19 turnovers.
Evansville has had success on the defensive end this season, but will be taken to task by Dillard, who is one of the premier scorers in the country.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tennessee Tech 73, Evansville 61
11/20 10:42:54 ET