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Eastern Illinois (4-11) at Jacksonville State (8-11)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 11, 5:30 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Pete Mathews Coliseum (5,500) -- Jacksonville, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: EIU 3-4, JSU 6-1. Away Record: EIU 1-7, JSU 1-9. Neutral Record: EIU 0-0, JSU 1-1. Conference Record: EIU 1-3, JSU 2-2. Series Record: Eastern Illinois leads, 9-7.

GAME NOTES: A three-game homestand continues for the Jacksonville State Gamecocks on Saturday, as they welcome the Eastern Illinois Panthers to Pete Mathews Coliseum for an Ohio Valley Conference affair.

Eastern Illinois has fallen on tough times this season as it sits at just 4-11 entering play this weekend. The Panthers dropped an 81-69 decision to Tennessee Tech on Thursday for their third straight loss. The setback came on the road, where the Panthers are just 1-7 on the campaign, although they do get to host their next game against Murray State.

As for Jacksonville State, it was able to end a two-game slide in the first portion of this homestand, by posting a 61-52 triumph over SIU Edwardsville. The Gamecocks are still looking up at the .500 mark for the season (8-11), but they have been difficult to stop at home (6-1). Next Thursday they will host Tennessee State in a rematch of Jan. 4 loss to the Tigers.

There was only one matchup between these teams a year ago, and the visiting Gamecocks captured a 61-55 victory for their third straight win over the Panthers. However, EIU leads the all-time series, 9-7.

The Panthers connected on 51 percent of their shots from the floor against Tennessee Tech on Thursday. However, they were outscored, 30-21, from 3-point range and by a 25-10 margin from the free-throw line as they fell into the loss column once again.

If there was any positive from the game it was the improved efficiency for Eastern Illinois. On the season, the Panthers are shooting just 41.9 percent from the floor, while ranking dead last in the OVC in scoring (63.7 ppg). Reggie Smith (12.4 ppg) and Sherman Blanford (11.1 ppg, 6 rpg) are the top offensive threats on the roster. Smith had just six points on 2-of-7 shooting against Tennessee Tech, and Blanford pitched in with 11 points and six rebounds. Dylan Chatman (4.7 ppg) had his best game of the season, nailing four 3-pointers to finish with 14 points, his second double-figure effort in the last three games and on the season overall.

Jacksonville State blanketed SIU Edwardsville on defense, holding the opposition to just 36.5 percent shooting. Meanwhile, the Gamecocks shot at a more respectable 44.2 percent, while scoring 32 points in the paint. Brian Williams dropped in 15 points and Jamal Hunter logged a double-double consisting of 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The Gamecocks have also had trouble consistently putting points on the board this season, as they are ranked 10th in the league in scoring (67.3 ppg) and ninth in field goal percentage (.432). Cleaning the glass has also been a problem, as Jacksonville State grabs just 30.6 rpg. Darion Rackley (13.4 ppg) is the first scoring option, with Williams (10.6 ppg, 4 apg) normally taking a backseat and contributing more as a passer. However, Rackley had just five points against SIUE. Hunter 5.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg) doubled his normal production both in points and rebounds in that victory.

Even though they have lacked consistency, the Gamecocks have been extremely reliable at home. Expect them to figure out a way to limit the already struggling Panthers and come away with a victory.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Jacksonville State 70, Eastern Illinois 61

01/11 12:24:26 ET

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Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
Final
UTAH 24
USC 21
4th
WASH 10
ARST 17
 
Half
HAW 10
NEV 6
 
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14