The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

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Road trip to Tennessee crucial for EIU basketball standings

The Panthers will need to beat the Tennessee State Tigers on Thursday in order to move out of seventh place and advance to a higher standing in the Ohio Valley Conference. (File)

EIU basketball is looking at a four-day road trip that brings the potential to rise in conference standings, coming off a 72-57 win over the Lindenwood University Lions last Saturday.  

Eastern will play Tennessee State University on Thursday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. 

The last time Eastern played TSU, the Panthers lost to the Tigers 64-60 in Groniger Arena on Saturday, Jan 27. 

While the Panthers are coming off two straight wins against Southeast Missouri State University and Lindenwood, the Tigers are coming off two straight losses against Tennessee Tech University and Western Illinois University. 

This game will be crucial for both teams for placement in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. 

TSU is currently tied for fifth place with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, both being 15-12 overall and 8-6 conference. 

Eastern is currently in seventh place in the OVC standings with a 13-14 overall record and a 7-7 conference record. 

If Eastern beats TSU and TTU beats SIUE, Eastern would join the tie between TSU and SIUE for fifth place. 

Here are a few facts and key statistics on the TSU Tigers: 

  1. Graduate guard Christian Brown averages 13.4 points a game for the Tigers, leading the team with average points per game. Although Brown scored only three points in TSU’s last game against Western Illinois, Brown scored 16 points in their previous game against TTU. 
  2. Senior guard Kinyon Hodges averages 5.4 rebounds per game for the Tigers, leading the team with average rebounds per game. Hodges recorded eight rebounds against TTU and six rebounds against Western Illinois. 
  3. The Tigers average 12.8 turnovers a game, but they score an average of 15.3 points off turnovers. 

After the Panthers play the Tigers on Thursday, the team is set to compete against the TTU Golden Eagles on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. 

The last time the Panthers faced the Golden Eagles, the Panthers won 68-59 in Groniger Arena on Thursday, Jan 25. 

Here are a few facts and key statistics on the TTU Golden Eagles: 

  1. Senior guard Jayvis Harvey averages 14.4 points per game for the Golden Eagles, leading the team with average points per game. Junior guard David Early is in a close second, as he averages 14.3 points per game for TTU. 
  2. Sophomore forward Daniel Egbuniwe averages 5.7 rebounds per game for the Golden Eagles, leading the team with average rebounds per game. Junior forward Rodney Johnson Jr. is in a close second, averaging 5.4 rebounds per game. 
  3. The Golden Eagles average 11.7 turnovers per game overall, but they average 11.0 turnovers throughout conference games. 

As the Panthers prepare for their games in Tennessee, one aspect the Panthers improved on throughout their two games against SEMO and Lindenwood was the rebounding category. 

The Panthers won the rebounding battle against the Redhawks 43-30 and the Lions 39-37. 

Here are a few players to keep an eye on for the Panthers:

  1. Corey Sawyer Jr.

The junior guard from Orlando, Florida, has been significantly improving his overall game and confidence throughout the season. Sawyer Jr. currently averages 9.1 points per game and 2.4 rebounds per game. Over the last two games, Sawyer Jr. recorded double digit points against SEMO and Lindenwood, scoring 15 points in each.

  1. Jermaine Hamlin

The fifth year forward from Lincoln, Illinois, has recently come back from an injury, and he also provides more depth to the Panthers’ height, being 6 foot, 10 inches. Hamlin currently averages 5.1 points per game and 4 rebounds per game. Over the last two games, Hamlin recorded eight points and five rebounds against the Redhawks, and he recorded five points and four rebounds against the Lions. 

Eastern is set to have two road games. The first one against TSU starts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in Nashville. 

  

Zaria Flippin can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]. 

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About the Contributor
Zaria Flippin, Sports Editor
Zaria Flippin is a junior sports media relations major. This is her first year at The News.

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