Times Staff Report
January 8, 2014
RICHMOND – For the first time in more than three years, the Eastern Kentucky men’s basketball team will play host to Murray State on Wednesday at McBrayer Arena.
Wednesday is Kids’ Night at EKU. All children 12-and-under will receive free admission to the game.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. The live radio broadcast is available in the Richmond area on WCYO 100.7 FM, and can be heard worldwide on EKUSports.com. A live video broadcast is available on OVCDigitalNetwork.com.
Murray State will be playing its first game in Richmond since Dec. 2, 2010. Changes in the OVC schedule led to three straight regular season games between the two teams being played in Murray.
Eastern (10-5, 1-1 OVC) suffered its first conference loss of the season on Saturday at Southern Illinois Edwardsville. A late 14-2 run led the Cougars to an 85-79 victory. EKU was behind by 11, 79-68, with 2:33 on the clock. However, the Colonels didn’t fold, using an 11-2 run over the next 1:33 to draw within two. Glenn Cosey started it with a three-pointer and Orlando Williams finished it off with a three to draw the visitors to within 81-79 with a minute left.
SIUE answered with a lay-up at the other end. On the next Colonel possession, Corey Walden got an open three-point attempt that would have cut the Cougar lead to one, but the shot missed. Cosey led all players with 23 points. Walden finished with 19 and Williams had 18 points.
Cosey was named OVC Player of the Week on Monday. He tied the conference record with 10 three-pointers and scored a career-best 34 points at Eastern Illinois on Thursday. In both games combined he averaged 28.5 points, five assists and shot 60 percent from the field. He leads EKU and ranks third in the OVC with an average of 20 points per game.
Murray State (7-7, 2-0 OVC) is riding a two-game winning streak after opening league play with home court victories over Southeast Missouri and Tennessee-Martin.
Eastern Kentucky has shot 51 percent or better from the field in each of its last four games. EKU leads the OVC in defense (69.2 ppg) but allowed 80-plus in last two games. Eastern commits the third most personal fouls per game in the OVC. Murray State is last in the OVC in free throw shooting (64 percent), but the Racers made 80.5 percent (33-of-41) against UT Martin on Sunday.
The Racers have been buoyed by the mid-year addition of 6-foot-3 junior guard T.J. Sapp, a transfer from Clemson. In five games since becoming eligible, he’s averaged a team-best 16 points and has made 48 percent of his three-pointers. Freshman Cameron Payne, a 6-foot-2 guard, is second on the team in scoring (14.7 ppg) and third in rebounding (3.5 rpg). Junior college transfer Jarvis Williams is averaging a double-double in his first season at Murray State, contributing 13.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.
Payne had 27 points in the 91-77 win over UT Martin. He made 8-of-13 from the field, including 6-of-10 from behind the arc. Williams scored 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. MSU out-rebounded the Skyhawks by 17 and shot 54 percent from the field.