The Richmond Register

January 15, 2014

OVC HOOPS: EKU, Belmont set for big OVC showdown

By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer

RICHMOND — The Colonels return to McBrayer Arena tonight to play host to defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Belmont at 7 p.m. in an ESPNU nationally televised game.

Belmont (12-6, 4-0 OVC) is the third-straight opponent the Colonels will face that was undefeated in league play at the time.

EKU (11-6, 2-2 OVC) is coming off a big 76-65 win at Morehead State on Saturday that broke a two-game OVC losing streak for the Colonels.

In that game, Corey Walden had a game-high 19 points, four rebounds, four assists and six steals. Glenn Cosey had 18 points and five assists and Orlando Williams added 14 points.

The Colonels defense, which had struggled in its three previous games, was superb against Morehead, holding the Eagles without a field goal for a 10:51 stretch in the second half.

EKU will need another strong defensive effort against the Bruins.

Belmont enters the game shooting 50.6 percent from the field, tops in the OVC, and is averaging 80.6 per game, which is second best in the conference.

The Colonels are second in the OVC in scoring defense, allowing their opponents 69.4 points per game. EKU led the league for most of the year, until giving up more than 81 points in each of their first three league games.

The Bruins rank eighth in the OVC in scoring defense, allowing 77.3 points per game. They have given up more than 80 points in nine of their 18 games this season.

Belmont, which is coming off an 87-72 victory at UT-Martin on Saturday, is led by 6-foot-six senior J.J. Mann who is averaging 16.7 points per game.

Sophomore guard Craig Bradshaw is second on the team in scoring at 15.2 points per game and is a dead-eye shooter from the outside, hitting 54 percent of his shots. Six-foot-nine senior Drew Windler is averaging 11.5 points.

Four Bruins rank among the top 11 players in the OVC in field goal percentage.