The Richmond Register

Sports

March 18, 2013

OVC HOOPS: EKU's season isn't over yet

RICHMOND — The Colonels' season isn't quite over yet.

EKU accepted an invitation Sunday to play Gardner-Webb University in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Boiling Springs NC.

The game can be heard on WCYO 100.7 FM and at www.ekusports.com

This will be the Colonels’ third postseason game in the last eight years and first since 2010, when they played the College of Charleston in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI).

Gardner-Webb has a record of 21-12 on the year and finished 12-4 in the Big South Conference — the second-best record in the league.

The Colonels played two Big South teams this season, beating Radford 83-75 in McBrayer Arena and High Point, which finished tied for the best record in the Big South, 73-70 on the road.

The Runnin' Bulldogs defeated two Ohio Valley Conference teams this season, downing Austin Peay 72-62 in Cancun, Mexico and easily handling Tennessee Tech, 61-41, at home.

Gardner-Webb has lost only twice since Jan. 23, with both games decided by three points each.

EKU coach Jeff Neubauer said he is excited for the opportunity but it will be a tough test for his team.

When Eastern was preparing to play Illinois earlier in the year, they watched game film of Gardner Webb's game with the Illini, Neubauer said. The Bulldogs lost the game on a last-second shot.

"Gardner-Webb had Illinois beat and they literally lost at the buzzer. So we have a great deal of respect for what they are doing down there," Neubauer said. "The biggest challenge right now is going on the road and playing on someone else's home court against a very good team"

Neubauer said he is happy his team is reaping the benefits for what they accomplished this year.

The Colonels (24-9) have already set a new school record for wins in a season. They fell to Murray State in the semifinals of the OVC Tournament earlier this month to Murray State in Nashville.

"This team has had a very good season. They have accomplished a lot that very few, and in some cases no EKU team has, Neubauer said. "I'm excited that these players will be rewarded by getting an opportunity to play in a postseason tournament."

The CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament was started in 2009 as a 16-team event. It expanded to 24 teams in 2011 and now has 32 teams, with invitations coming from schools outside the BCS power conferences.

The second round of the CIT will be played March 22-24, with quarterfinal round games played March 26-27. Semifinal round games will be played March 29-30 and the championship game on April 2.

The Colonels found out who they would be playing around 11 p.m. Sunday Neubauer said, so his staff spent much of Sunday night preparing a game plan for the Colonels in preparation for today's practice.

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