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Colonels travel back to Tar Heel State for two

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Less than 36 hours after arriving home from its first loss of the season, the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team departed Richmond for a second trip to the Tar Heel state this season. The Colonels (9-1) will play at North Carolina A&T on Wednesday before ending their road trip at High Point on Friday.

The live radio broadcasts of the games are available in the Richmond area on WCYO 100.7 FM, and can be heard worldwide on EKUSports.com.

EKU lost at No. 10 Illinois on Sunday. The Colonels trailed by only four with less than 10 minutes to play but the Illini pulled away in the final five minutes. Redshirt sophomore Corey Walden was chosen as the Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week after scoring a game-best 21 points.

Much like it has all season, Eastern held a sizable advantage in turnovers and defended the three-point shot against Illinois. The Colonels gave it away only 10 times while the Illini turned it over 20 times. Through the first 10 games of the season, EKU has committed 79 fewer turnovers than its opponents and has out-scored its foes 241-123 off turnovers.

Eastern Kentucky averages 7.9 fewer turnovers per game than its opponents, best in the OVC and second in the nation behind Louisville’s -9.4 turnover margin.

Illinois entered the game as the nation’s leader with 11 three-pointers per game and the 14th best shooting percentage from deep (39.6 percent). The Colonels held the Illini to six treys and 26 percent shooting from behind the arc. For the season, EKU opponents are hitting only 29 percent from three-point range.

Tip-off against the Aggies on Wednesday in Greensboro, N.C., is scheduled for 7 p.m.

North Carolina A&T is the fourth opponent for the Colonels this season from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). The Aggies are 4-7 overall and 0-1 in conference play. In its only conference game, NCAT lost at home to North Carolina Central, 66-62, a team EKU beat by six on the road.

NCAT is coached by Cy Alexander, who spent six seasons in the OVC as the head coach at Tennessee State.

The Aggies average 64 points per game and are shooting just 38 percent from the field this season. NCAT has made only 28 percent of its shots from deep. The team allows 69 points per contest.

Lamont Middleton, a 6-foot-3 junior guard, leads the team in scoring (13.3 ppg) and assists (2.7 apg). Adrian Powell, a 6-foot-6 senior forward, contributes 11 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest. Austin Witter, a 6-foot-8 195-pound senior forward, was chosen as the MEAC Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. He had 13 rebounds and eight blocks in NCAT’s win at NJIT.

North Carolina A&T is coming off a 77-66 loss at Seton Hall on Sunday. Jean Louisme came off the bench to lead the team with 14 points. Powell added 11 points. Middleton had nine points, six rebounds and four assists.

This will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

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