By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Colonels (15-7, 6-3 OVC) defense was outstanding in their 89-66 blowout win over UT-Martin Thursday.
They will need a similar effort today when OVC West Division co-favorite Southeast Missouri State (12-10, 3-5 OVC) visits McBrayer Arena for a 7 p.m. contest. SEMO comes in as the highest-scoring team in the OVC, averaging 82.9 points per game.
Martin entered Thursday’s game as one of the higher scoring OVC teams in league play also, but the EKU defense kept UTM’s three leading scorers under double-digit scoring.
On offense, the Colonels were very efficient, hitting 65.2 percent of their shots from the field and 45 percent, 9-of-20, from behind the three-point arc.
Marcus Lewis led five Colonels in double figures with 19 points, including four high-flying dunks, while Glenn Cosey finished with 18 points, Eric Stutz had 14 points, Tarius Johnson had 12 points and Orlando Williams added 10 points.
After a rough beginning to their conference season, in which they lost three of their first four games, the Redhawks have picked it up, winning two of their past three contests.
SEMO is coming off a 91-81 non-conference win over Missouri-Kansas City on Wednesday.
Six-foot-5 junior Jarekious Bradley leads the Redhawks in scoring at 20.2 points per game. He is the team’s second-leading rebounder, pulling down 6.7 boards per game. Bradley is the second-leading scorer in the OVC and ranks sixth in rebounding.
He was limited to only two points on Wednesday due to a sprained knee.
Tyler Stone, a 6-foot-8 forward, was a pre-season All-OVC selection and comes into today’s game averaging 18.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. He ranks fourth in the OVC in both categories.
While their offense is the best in the league, the Redhawks defense ranks next to last in the OVC, giving up 77.8 points per game.
EKU has scored 81 points or more in each of their past three games and the Colonels’ defense is ranked second in the conference, giving up an average of only 69.4 points per game.
EKU leads the all time series with SEMO 25-19, including 14-6 in games played in Richmond. The Colonels have won the past nine games against SEMO, including 84-69 in last season’s OVC Tournament in Nashville.
Lady Colonels set to face SEMO
The Lady Colonels will be trying to add to their OVC East Division lead when they play host to Southeast Missouri State (7-13, 3-4 OVC) today at 4 p.m. in McBrayer Arena.
Despite Monday’s loss to Tennessee State, EKU (11-7, 5-2 OVC) continues to hold a one-game lead in the East Division over both Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech, and has a two game cushion on third-place Belmont.
Monday’s loss was only the second in the last 10 games for the Lady Colonels.
Marie Carpenter led EKU with 18 points against the Lady Tigers. That moved her up to number 11 on the EKU all-time scoring list with 1,385 points. She needs only 13 points today to move into the top ten all-time scorers in Lady Colonels history.
Carpenter moved up to number 10 with 275 free throws in her career. She also is ranked fourth all-time in career free throw percentage at 84.6 percent.
Carpenter became the EKU all-time leader in three pointers last week, breaking the record of 170.
In two games last week, senior Pilar Walker dished out 14 assists and now ranks third in the OVC with an average of 4.4 assists per game.
The Redhawks enter today’s game winners of their past two games.
SEMO is currently in third place in the OVC West Division, two games back of UT-Martin.
Three Redhawks are averaging more than nine points per game. Olivia Hackmann leads the team at 9.8 points per game, followed by Jordan Hunter with 9.6 points per game and Kara Wright at 9.1 points per game.
Patricia Mack leads SEMO in rebounding, pulling down 9.5 boards per game.
The Redhawks average 64.2 points per game, while shooting 38.6 percent from the field and 30.3 percent from behind the arc.
SEMO gives up an average of 70.3 points per game, while the Lady Colonels are averaging 68.7 points per game. EKU is giving up an average of 63.8 points per game.
The Lady Colonels lead the all-time series with SEMO 28-15 and have won the last two meetings between the two teams.