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December 14, 2013

OVC BASKETBALL: Colonels wrap up road trip with tough test at Wisconsin

RICHMOND — The Colonels continue their four-game road swing today with the stiffest test yet against No. 4 ranked Wisconsin.

Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.

EKU lost two tough road games against North Carolina State and Virginia Commonwealth despite playing well in both.

The Colonels held double-digit leads in both contests before eventually losing.

EKU led NC State 27-21 at the half, but cold shooting in the second half by the Colonels allowed the Wolfpack to come back and win going away 75-56.

The Colonels led VCU until Melvin Johnson tied the game with a basket with 1:04 remaining to send the game into overtime.

The Rams held EKU scoreless for the first 4:23 of the overtime, but Corey Walden pulled the Colonels to within a basket with seven seconds remaining.

The Colonels had an opportunity to tie the game after the Rams missed one-of-two free throws, but Glenn Cosey’s three-point attempt at the buzzer fell short at the buzzer.

EKU rebounded last week, defeating Longwood, 76-67, behind Cosey’s 24 points.

Things don’t get any easier for the Colonels today against the undefeated Badgers on their home turf.

Wisconsin is coming off a 78-52 win over Milwaukee and own wins over Florida, West Virginia and Marquette during its 11-game winning streak — its best start since 1946.

The Badgers own wins over five teams in the ESPN RPI top 50 and nine wins over teams in the RPI top 100.

As they did against NC State, the Colonels face a tall task against the Badgers.

Six-foot-11 Frank Kaminsky leads Wisconsin in scoring at 14.7 points per game and is second in rebounding at 5.7 per game.

He has posted double-doubles in his past four games and his 43-point effort against North Dakota is the highest scoring game of any Division I player this season.

Sam Dekker, a 6-foot-7 forward is second on the team in scoring at 14.2 points per game and leads the Badgers in rebounding, pulling down 6.1 boards per game.

The Badgers have five players averaging 9.7 points per game or more.

Cosey leads EKU, and ranks second in the Ohio Valley Conference, with an average of 19.3 points per game. The senior guard is fourth in the league with 4.9 assists per contest.

Three other Colonels average between 11 and 12.2 points per game. Corey Walden (4.8 rpg) leads the squad in rebounding while Cosey (4.2 rpg) and Eric Stutz (4.2 rpg) are close behind.

EKU has the second-best turnover margin in the country (+7.7), but Wisconsin ranks second in the nation with only 8.9 turnovers per game. EKU has allowed its two most recent opponents to hit 22 three-pointers and shoot 47 percent from deep. Wisconsin has made 39 percent of its three-pointers this season, 41st best in the nation.

The Badgers are 11-1 all-time against members of the Ohio Valley Conference. The most recent meeting was a 72-58 win over Belmont in the opening game of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

Today’s game will be a rematch of a thriller at the 2005 Paradise Jam Tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands that the Badgers won in double overtime over EKU.

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