Golden Eagles look for fifth straight against EKU, travel north to Richmond

Golden Eagles look for fifth straight against EKU, travel north to Richmond

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – With a trip north to battle two of the three Kentucky OVC programs on the weekend's agenda, the Tennessee Tech men's basketball team will wrap up its road schedule for the 2012-13 season with contests at Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State.

Tech visits EKU Thursday night and Morehead State Saturday evening.

Tennessee Tech (9-14, 3-8)
Eastern Kentucky (19-6, 8-3)
Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 / 6 p.m. CST
McBrayer Arena – Richmond, Ky.

The Broadcasts
Television: none
Radio: Fox Sports Radio, 106.1 The Eagle (Roger Ealey)
Webcast: Live on OVC Digital Network

Setting the Stage
Since 1951, the Colonels and Golden Eagles have met twice a year nearly every season, playing nearly 150 games in over 60 years.

Year Location Result Score
2007-08 @ Richmond, Ky.
W 75-64
2007-08 Cookeville, Tenn. L 87-77
2008-09 @ Richmond, Ky. L 85-80
2008-09 Cookeville, Tenn. L 80-73
2009-10 Cookeville, Tenn. L 78-73
2009-10 @ Richmond, Ky. L 76-58
2010-11 @ Richmond, Ky. W 78-66
2010-11 Cookeville, Tenn. W 63-54
2011-12 @ Richmond, Ky. W 82-65
2011-12 Cookeville, Tenn. W 74-67

While EKU owns a 12-game advantage in the series, seven of those wins came in the first seven contests between these two old OVC rivals. One of the charter members of the Ohio Valley Conference, Eastern Kentucky has struggled as of late against the Golden Eagles.

Tech has won its previous four outing against the Colonels, after losing five in-a-row prior to the streak. The two victories that occurred in Richmond came by double digits. The Golden Eagles also own the longest winning streak in the series, reigning as the victor in 10 straight contests from 1999-2003.

In the second of two meetings in 2012, the Golden Eagles followed a road win in Richmond by edging the Colonels by seven points in Cookeville. EKU played great defense against the OVC’s top scorer, holding Kevin Murphy to five points, but couldn’t expand the play beyond that.

Jud Dillard and Zach Swansey each recorded double-doubles on the night. Dillard’s 20 points and 10 rebounds marked one of his eight double-doubles of the 2012 campaign. Swansey scored 10 points while dishing out 10 assists during the contest, earning his second double-double of the year.

Bassey Inameti chipped in 13 points and Zach Bailey came up huge off the bench, scoring 17 points and recording five rebounds. Three EKU starters scored in double figures, but the rest of the team combined for just 18 points as Tech pulled off the 74-67 win.

The Colonels have been of the OVC’s best squads this season, losing only three times in league play, with two of the losses coming against the OVC-leading Belmont Bruins. EKU’s 19-6 record has come on the back of its strong offensive attack, which averages over 73 points per game. The defense is no slouch either, holding opponents to just 63.8 points per contest.

Perhaps one weakness for Eastern Kentucky is its ability to rebound the ball. The Colonels have been topped on the glass by nearly six boards a game as they average just 27.4 per contest.

Eastern Kentucky boasts three double-digit scorers in Mike DiNunno, Glenn Cosey, and Corey Walden. DiNunno leads the team with 15.5 points per game and has recorded a team-high 103 assists on the year.

Cosey is a close second on the team with 15.3 points per outing. Walden adds 11.9 points in addition to hitting 88 percent from the charity stripe.

The Golden Eagles have played shut-down defense of late, holding three of their last five opponents under 65 points. The team averages nearly 34 boards per game, owning a plus-1.0 advantage over opponents on the glass this season.

Leading the Tech attack is senior guard Jud Dillard. The Atlanta, Ga. native averages 19.3 points per contest, ranking second in the OVC this season. He also adds 7.9 rebounds to his impressive numbers and has recorded a career-high nine double-doubles this season. He is recently coming off a record-breaking performance, hitting 14-of-14 free throw attempts against Jacksonville State to break the school mark for free throw percentage in a game. (His 14 makes and attempts were the highest of any Golden Eagle to go perfect from the charity stripe).

Really coming to life over the last few weeks has been Munich, Germany native Dennis Ogbe. The junior forward is averaging 9.5 points and 5.6 boards on the season, including a solid 11.1 points and 6.5 rebounds in OVC play. He has tallied 16 blocks in league games and leads the team in field goal percentage with a .576 mark.

Thursday night's game can be heard on the Golden Eagle Sports Network and 106.1 The Eagle, with Roger Ealey calling the action.