The Colonels have already secured their first appearance in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament in five seasons.

And they've also locked up a first-round bye.

Now, they have the opportunity to further improve their possible postseason positioning.

In the next five days, EKU (14-14, 11-4 OVC) will face two of three teams that sit at the top of the OVC standings.

That key stretch starts today with a match-up against Belmont (21-7, 12-3 OVC) at McBrayer Arena.

Game time is set for 7 p.m.

"We are going to celebrate and then we just have to get back to work tomorrow," EKU coach A.W. Hamilton said after his team's win over Tennessee State on Thursday. "We just have to do our normal routine and clean up some of the mistakes we made in the second half tonight. It's a great opportunity for us on Saturday. They are a great team."

EKU currently sits in fourth place in the OVC.

The Colonels trail Belmont and Murray State (12-3) by just one game.

Austin Peay (13-2) is in first place with three regular-season games left on the schedule.

After taking on the Bruins today at home, EKU hits the road to take on the Racers next Thursday.

The results of those two games will have a big impact on the OVC Tournament bracket.

The top two seeds receive double-byes and move directly into the semifinals. The third and fourth-best seeds receive a bye and would have to play in the quarterfinals -- meaning they would have to win three games in three days to take the title.

"This is a special group," Hamilton said of his team. "They play for each other and love each other. They don't care who scores or who gets the spotlight. They just want to win the games."

Moving up the standings certainly won't be easy, though.

The Colonels were blasted by Belmont, 87-56, on Jan. 16 in Nashville in a nationally televised game.

Jomaru Brown scored 25 points, but EKU shot 31 percent from the field and was 9-of-33 from three-point range. The Bruins out-rebounded the Colonels 56-29.

"We feel like we can play with anybody. We were disappointed we lost that game," Hamilton said of the first game against Belmont. "We didn't play well when we played at Belmont, but after that loss we kind of went on our little run. Our guys are going to be excited to play this game. Anytime someone beats you by 30, you want another shot at them."

The Bruins have been on quite a run recently.

Belmont has won seven-straight games, including an 80-67 win over Morehead State Thursday on the road.

EKU has lost eight-straight to Belmont, with the last win coming on Feb. 6, 2016 in Nashville.

The Bruins lead the series between the teams, 14-5.

The Colonels bounced back from a loss last weekend at Austin Peay with a dominant performance Thursday at home against TSU. EKU jumped out to a 30-3 lead and never trailed.

Senior Ty Taylor led the Colonels with 22 points, which pushed him past 1,000 points for his college career.

Brown finished with 16 points, six steals, four assists and four rebounds. The six steals matches his career high.

Freshman Michael Moreno dished out a career-high five assists on Thursday.

Adam Kunkel leads the Bruins in scoring at 17.0 points a game.

In the win over Morehead State on Thursday, sophomore Grayson Murphy flirted with the program's first triple-double of the NCAA Division I era before finishing with 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Kunkel scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half.

EKU women set to take on first-place Belmont

The Colonels (10-16, 4-11 OVC) will look to snap a two-game losing streak today at home against first-place Belmont (18-8, 13-2).

Game time is set for 4:30 p.m.

EKU is in 10th place in the OVC, a game behind both Murray State and Morehead State. Only the top eight teams qualify for the league tournament.

The Colonels fell to Tennessee State, 67-64, Thursday in Richmond.

Teri Goodlett led the way for the Colonels posting a team-high 19 points, six rebounds and four steals against the Lady Tigers.

Bria Bass chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds off the bench.

The Colonels rank third in the OVC in field goal percentage defense.

Goodlett ranks 11th in conference play in scoring averaging 12.9 points per game.

Belmont knocked off Morehead State, 63-56, Thursday in Morehead.

Ellie Harmeyer posted a game-high 27 points and 19 rebounds against the Eagles.

Madison Treece chipped in 10 points off the bench.

Harmeyer ranks second in conference play in scoring, averaging 20.4 points per game.

Belmont ranks first in the conference in scoring defense.

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