TTU attempting to hold down OVC Tournament bye
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech will look to sweep its season series with Eastern Kentucky when the Colonels visit the Eblen Center on Wednesday in what will be the next-to-last conference game of the season for the Golden Eagles.
Coming off back-to-back losses last week, the Golden Eagles, currently fourth in the Ohio Valley Conference, will attempt to get back on track and stay in control of a first-round bye in the upcoming OVC Tournament.
Byes are awarded to the third-and-fourth-place clubs while first-and-second-place finishers receive double byes.
One of the squads attempting to snag that bye from Tech is Eastern Kentucky, which comes into Wednesday's game in sixth with a 6-7 conference record and a 14-13 overall mark. Tech is 16-11 overall and 8-6 in the league.
The Golden Eagles handed the Colonels their first home loss of the season on Jan. 26, winning 82-65 in Richmond. The win was the third consecutive for Tech against EKU in a series in which the Colonels hold the overall upper hand.
The two squads will meet for the 125th time on Wednesday, a series in which Eastern Kentucky holds a 68-55 overall advantage since 1950.
After a stretch in which the Golden Eagles won five out of six games, Tech fell to Eastern Illinois at home last week, then lost at Tennessee State, dropping consecutive games for only the second time this season.
After a 2-0 start to league play, Eastern Kentucky has lost four of its last five games against OVC competition, most recently falling to Morehead State in Richmond.
Tech senior guard Kevin Murphy held steady this week at No. 9 in NCAA Division I in scoring, averaging 21.0 points per game. Along with junior guard Jud Dillard, the pair ranks as the No. 3 scoring duo in the nation, combining for 39.0 points per game.
Golden Eagle players lead the OVC in four major categories – points (Murphy, 21.0), rebounds (Dillard, 8.7), assists (Zac Swansey, 5.9) and steals (Swansey, 2.3).
Senior guard Jaron Jones leads the Colonels in scoring and ranks fifth in the OVC, averaging 16.1 points per game. Senior guard Joshua Jones and junior guard Mike DiNunno average just under double-figures in scoring, both coming in at 9.9 points per contest. Freshman forward Eric Stutz leads the Colonels in rebounding, grabbing 4.9 boards per game.
Tickets for Wednesday's game can be purchased at the Eblen Center box office, via telephone at (931) 372-3940 or on the web at www.TTUSports.com.
The game will be televised on WCTE-22 as well as broadcast on the Golden Eagle Sports Network, WHUB AM 1400 and on the Internet at www.1400TheHub.com. Fans can also watch a live webstream on OVCSports.tv or listen via Teamline by calling (216) 502-3200 and entering team code 0654. Cost is $5 per call.