After being sidelined for a game and relegated to a bench spot for another because of an ankle injury, Josh Jones is back.

The Colonel sophomore, who has scored in double-figures five times this season, was injured against UT Martin. Although Dayvon Ellis filled in for Jones admirably — with a great defensive effort and nine points against Ohio Valley on Dec. 9 — it is Jones who will likely get the start today against Ohio.

“We expect Josh to be back at full strength,” Eastern Kentucky University coach Jeff Neubauer said. “Dayvon’s second half against Ohio Valley was the best basketball he’s played this year. He continues to shoot the ball very well, but the start he gave us in that second half was at the defensive end, where he was very energetic. Dayvon certainly did come up big in that game.”

In their final game before a 10-day Christmas break, EKU will face Mid-American Conference team Ohio at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon in Athens, Ohio. Neubauer is 4-0 against MAC teams, including topping Akron, Ball State and Ohio last season.

The Colonels (7-3) beat the Bobcats, 71-51, in last year’s ESPN BracketBuster game. The Bobcats knocked off Illinois State (7-1) on Wednesday, 75-57, and has only fallen short against Austin Peay (68-66), Tulsa (81-80) and Marshall (60-53).

“They are the best team in the MAC at this point,” Neubauer said. “They’ve had some very good wins and they just beat Illinois State. Most importantly, Ohio is very good on their home court. They’ve won 30 of their last 31 non-conference home games. They’re a very physical team, they defend very well and that’s why they’ve won to this point in the season.”

Ohio (6-3) also beat Ohio Valley, 101-72, in their season-opener on Nov. 13. The Bobcats are led by Indiana-transfer Armon Bassett, who is averaging 12 points per game. They have four other players in double-figures — D.J. Cooper (12.6 points, five boards per game), DeVaughn Washington (12.1 points, five boards per game), Steven Coleman (10.9 ppg) and Jay Kinney (10.4 ppg).

“They’re really different (from last season),” Neubauer said. “They have a transfer named Armand Basset, who transferred from Indiana University. He’s a big-time scorer who has really started to come on for them. Basset changes their team. They’ve added several new bodies that give them quite a bit of depth.”

The game will be EKU’s final game until Dec. 29, when the Colonels will face Morgan State and either Chattanooga or Long Island at the Dr Pepper Classic in Chattanooga, Tenn.

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