RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team will host Norfolk State University on Saturday at McBrayer Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Colonels are 4-0 this season. The Spartans pulled off the biggest upset of last season’s NCAA Tournament, beating No. 2 seed Missouri.
The live radio broadcast of the game is available in the Richmond area on WCYO 100.7 FM, and can be heard worldwide on EKUSports.com. A live video broadcast of the contest is available on OVCDigitalNetwork.com.
EKU opened its season with four straight wins to capture the Comfort Suites Invitational title. The Colonels have won 12 straight home non-conference games and are 35-7 under head coach Jeff Neubauer in such contests.
Eastern’s 4-0 start is its best since 2004-05, a campaign that began with five straight wins and ended with a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The Colonels are taking advantage of other team’s mistakes early in the season. Through the first four games, Eastern has committed 33 fewer turnovers than its opponents and has out-scored its foes 93-48 off turnovers. In addition, EKU has shot 50 percent or better from the field in two of their first four games and knocked down 49 percent in a game.
Norfolk State went 26-10 last season. However, only one starter returned from that squad. The Spartans are off to a 2-3 start to the 2012-13 campaign. NSU has won a pair of road games – at Rhode Island and at Longwood. Norfolk State has losses to Seton Hall, Loyola-Maryland and Missouri-Kansas City.
Junior guard Pendarvis Williams is the lone returning starter and leads the team in scoring (12.8 ppg) and assists (2.2 apg) this year. Freshman forward Rashid Gaston is the second leading scorer (10 ppg) and top rebounder (8.0 rpg).
In Sunday’s 63-57 loss to UMKC, the Spartans won the battle of the boards by six – including a 15-3 edge in offensive boards – and committed only 12 turnovers. However NSU shot just 38 percent from the field, including 22 percent from behind the arc.
This will be the third meeting between the two programs. Eastern Kentucky won 67-60 in the Virgin Islands early in the 2005 season. Norfolk State picked up a 70-63 on its home court last season.