The opening weekend of the Ohio Valley Conference schedule was both exhilarating and a bit disappointing for the Colonels (4-11, 1-1 OVC).
EKU snapped an eight-game losing streak with a victory over Tennessee Tech, but couldn't complete the sweep and fell to Jacksonville State.
"I'm proud of our guys," EKU coach AW Hamilton said. "We would have like to have opened up 2-0. We played great against Tech and we were right there with Jacksonville State. We let one slip away."
The schedule provides the Colonels with a chance to bounce back from that loss.
EKU is set to wrap up a four-game homestand with a pair of OVC contests this weekend.
The Colonels will face Eastern Illinois (7-7, 0-2) at 7:30 p.m. today and SIU-Edwardsville (4-11, 1-1) on Saturday.
"It's going to be a huge challenge," Hamilton said. "We've got to take advantage of (the schedule) and play really well this weekend."
The Colonels head out on a four-game road swing the next two weekends as they get deeper into the grueling 18-game conference schedule.
There plenty of positives to take away from opening two games of OVC play, including the performance of JacQuess Hobbs. The junior leads the league in assist/turnover ratio (11-0). He is also tied for the lead in assists/game (5.5) and ranked second in steals/game (2.5).
Senior Lachlan Anderson hit 6-of-11 three-pointers last week and is now ranked seventh in the OVC in three-point field goal percentage (43.8).
Senior Ty Taylor has scored in double figures in 11 consecutive games. He has connected on at least one three-pointer in 14 consecutive games.
Fans at McBrayer Arena today will see the top two steals teams in the OVC. EKU leads the conference (and ranks sixth in the NCAA) at 10.1 steals-per-game. EIU is No. 2 in the conference at 8.0 steals-per-game.
EKU ranks No. 3 in the NCAA in turnovers forced-per-game (20.5) and 19th in turnover margin (+4.7).
Eastern Illinois (7-7, 0-2 OVC) opened conference play by falling on at Tennessee State and Belmont last week in Nashville.
Mack Smith averages 12.8 points-per-game for EIU, one of four Panthers averaging double figures this season.
Josiah Wallace is averaging 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds a game, with 31 assists.
"They've got a guard who is as good of a guard as you are going to find in this league," Hamilton said of Wallace. "He knows how to finish games. It's going to be a huge challenge for us."
This is the 41st all-time meeting between EKU and Eastern Illinois. The Colonels lead the series, 22-18, but have dropped five straight to the Panthers.
EKU women looking to bounce back
After opening Ohio Valley Conference play with back-to-back losses at home, the Colonels will look to get back on track today McBrayer Arena.
EKU (6-7) is set to take on Eastern Illinois (7-6, 1-1) at 5 p.m.
The all-time series between the programs is tied, 19-19.
EIU won last year's meeting at home, 80-60.
De'Arya Davis led the way posting a team-high 10 points, two rebounds and two assists against Jacksonville State on Saturday.
I'Liyah Green posted five points, seven rebounds and three blocks on Saturday.
The Colonels held JSU to 28 percent shooting from the field.
Qay Stanton ranks third in the OVC in assist/turnover ratio.
The Colonels rank third in the conference in field goal percentage defense.
Eastern Illinois fell on the road at Belmont on Saturday.
Karly Pace led the way for the Panthers posting a game-high 17 points against the Bruins.
EIU ranks first in the OVC in scoring defense.
Pace ranks eighth in the conference in scoring at 13.5 points per game.
Abby Wahl ranks ninth in the conference in scoring at 13.2 points per game.