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Colonels set sights on No. 21 when Jacksonville State visits on Saturday

RICHMOND, Ky. – Just two days after securing the program’s eighth 20-win season and 11th straight conference tournament bid, the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team will host Jacksonville State University on Saturday.

The game, sponsored by Delta Dental, is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. 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 FREE live video broadcast of the contest is available on OVCDigitalNetwork.com.

With a win over Tennessee Tech, the Colonels secured their first 20-win season since 2009-10 and the eighth 20-win campaign in program history. It also made Jeff Neubauer the first coach in program history to lead his team to three 20-win seasons.

Eastern (20-6, 9-3 OVC) also clinched its 11th straight appearance in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament. EKU is one of only four teams to earn spots in each of the last 10 conference tournaments. Murray State, Austin Peay and Tennessee Tech are the others.

Sophomore forward Eric Stutz has come on strong of late. In his last four games he has averaged 12.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 2.3 steals and 1.5 assists per game.

EKU beat Jacksonville State 73-62 earlier this season. Corey Walden had a career-high 28 points and Mike DiNunno scored 24 points. In the first meeting between these two teams, Eastern shot 51 percent while the Gamecocks made 31 percent of their shots.

DiNunno is coming off a 21-point performance on Thursday against the Golden Eagles.

Jacksonville State has lost two straight, both of which were on the road. The Gamecocks are 15-9 overall and 7-6 in OVC play. JSU lost at Tennessee Tech, 78-64, before falling at Morehead State, 85-81, on Thursday.

Jacksonville State is led in scoring by Tarvin Gaines (15.7 ppg), a 6-6 senior forward. He’s second on the team with five rebounds per game. Ronnie Boggs, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, is the team’s top rebounder (5.6 rpg) and averages 11 points.

As a team, the Gamecocks are ninth in the conference in scoring (65.9 ppg) but first in scoring defense (63.5 ppg). JSU shoots 45 percent from the field, 36 percent from three-point range and 68 percent from the stripe. The Gamecocks have been out-rebounded by five boards per game.

JSU shot 59 percent from the field, 60 percent from behind the arc and 91 percent from the free throw line in a four-point loss to Morehead State. Jacksonville State turned the ball over 19 times and was out-rebounded by six.

Eastern leads the all-time series 12-7, and is 8-0 in games played in Richmond.

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