Colonels rolling into nationally televised Bracketbusters game at Valparaiso

RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team will ride a six-game winning streaking into Saturday’s nationally televised game at Valparaiso University, part of the 2013 ESPN Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters.

Tip-off on ESPNU is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET. 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. The game will also be available on WatchESPN. WatchESPN brings 24/7 live programming from ESPN’s networks to your computer, mobile phone, and tablet.

Eastern Kentucky’s current six-game winning streak is the second longest of the season. EKU won nine straight to begin the 2012-13 campaign.

With their win over Austin Peay on Wednesday, the Colonels (22-6, 11-3 OVC) tied the school record for wins in a season (2004-05). Eastern made a season-best 58.6 percent of its shots against APSU and has shot 50 percent or better from the field in seven of its last 10 games.

Eastern Kentucky has scored 80 or more points in five of its last six games. The Colonels have moved to first place in the OVC in scoring defense. EKU is allowing 63.7 points per game.

Saturday’s game marks the fourth this season for the Colonels against a Mid-Major Top-25 opponent. Eastern beat Murray State (8th at time) and lost to Belmont twice (8th and 5th at time). Jacksonville State was receiving votes in the poll both times EKU beat the Gamecocks.

Eastern is 68th in the latest weekly NCAA RPI Rankings. Valpo has an RPI of 84.

Valparaiso enters Saturday’s game with a 21-7 record and an 11-3 mark in the Horizon League. The Crusaders are in first place by one game over Detroit.

Valpo is led by Ryan Broekhoff, a 6-foot-7 senior forward. He leads the team in scoring (16.1 ppg) and rebounding (7.7 rpg). Fellow senior forward Kevin Van Wijk contributes 12.8 points and 5.1 rebounds.

As a team the Crusaders average 71.6 points and allow 62.5 per game. Valparaiso has made 48 percent of its shots from the field, including 37 percent from three-point range. Valpo has out-rebounded its opponents by 4.3 boards per contest.

On Tuesday, Valparaiso shot 55 percent from the field and made 10-of-20 attempts from behind the arc in an 85-76 victory at Loyola. The Crusaders led by 15 at the break after shooting 62 percent in the first half. Will Bogan scored a game-best 16 points. Broekhoff had 14 points and six rebounds.

Eastern Kentucky leads the all-time series 3-1. The Colonels won the only game played in Valparaiso, 60-55, on Jan. 9, 1984. The two teams last met on Dec. 2, 1985 when EKU won 73-48 in Richmond. The first-ever meeting between the two programs came during the 1923-24 season.


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