Tennessee State (5-24) at Eastern Kentucky (20-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 1, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McBrayer Arena (6,500) -- Richmond, Kentucky. Television: None. Home Record: TSU 3-10, EKU 11-2. Away Record: TSU 2-12, EKU 8-6. Neutral Record: TSU 0-2, EKU 1-1. Conference Record: TSU 4-11, EKU 10-5. Series Record: Eastern Kentucky leads, 29-25.
GAME NOTES: The Tennessee State Tigers hit the road to take on the Eastern Kentucky Colonels in an Ohio Valley Conference clash at McBrayer Arena on Saturday evening.
Tennessee State won its last two games, including a 70-68 decision over Morehead State on Thursday night. The Tigers are currently in fourth place in the East Division of the OVC.
Eastern Kentucky beat Tennessee Tech, 74-67, also on Thursday night. That was the third straight win for the Colonels, and the sixth in their last eight games overall. They are tied with Morehead State for second place in the OVC East.
Eastern Kentucky leads the all-time series, 29-25. The Tigers have won three of the last four meetings, including a 94-78 decision in Nashville on Jan. 23. This is the final regular-season game for both clubs.
Patrick Miller poured in a career-high 38 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with two seconds left to lift Tennessee State to a thrilling victory over Morehead State. Miller shot 12-of-19 from the field, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, and made 10-of-11 at the free-throw line for TSU, in his sixth 30-point performance of the season. M.J. Rhett added 12 points for the Tigers. Tennessee State led by 14 midway through the second half, but the Eagles climbed back to take a one-point advantage, 68-67, with seven seconds to play, setting the stage for Miller's heroics.
Miller (23.7 ppg) is the go-to option for TSU, as he leads the conference in scoring and he has hit for at least 20 points in 12 of the last 13 games. However, the Tigers have basically been a one-man show, with the team netting only 68.8 ppg on 42.8 percent shooting, while allowing 75.7 ppg. Rhett (10.9 ppg, 9.1 rpg) attacks the glass with authority, ranking fifth in the OVC in rebounding, while serving as the second-best scorer on the roster for the Tigers.
Glenn Cosey and Tarius Johnson netted 20 points apiece as the Colonels defeated Tennessee Tech the last time out. Corey Walden added 14 points on 5- of-7 shooting from the floor, while Eric Stutz contributed 12 points and six rebounds in the win. The Golden Eagles took a 30-28 lead into intermission. The Colonels heated up to drain 56.7 percent of their field goal attempts, and turned the ball over only once in the second half to secure the victory.
Glenn Cosey tops the Colonels in scoring this season with an impressive 19 ppg on 42.7 percent shooting from the floor. Cosey's 126 assists give him the team's top spot in that category as well, and his 36 steals are good for third on the squad. Walden checks with 13.4 ppg, and he has a team-best 60 steals, and Marcus Lewis averages 10.3 ppg. Stutz paces the Colonels with 4.7 rpg and 19 blocks. EKU play well at both ends of the court, scoring a healthy 78.9 ppg while giving up just 70.1 ppg, good enough for third and second in the OVC, respectively.
Despite the impressive season that Miller has had for the Tigers, the Colonels have the edge in this contest, given their balance and their strong play on defense. Expect them to notch their fourth straight win and enter the conference tournament with some serious momentum.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Eastern Kentucky 74, Tennessee State 63
03/01 11:43:03 ET