Eastern Illinois seeks to tie the season series against the Govs Saturday, Feb. 9, as APSU hosts the Panthers in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup.
In the first contest of the season, APSU prevailed 73-60, earning their first road win of the season after an 0-8 start when away from the Dunn. In that game, EIU led APSU 50-49 in the fourth quarter before the Govs outscored the Panthers 24-11.
“By this time of year, 12 games into conference you are pretty familiar with who you are playing,” Head Coach David Midlick said. “You can watch them on film, but there’s nothing like live play and what teams do and pace of play, so we have an idea of what they want to do and where they want to go with the ball.”
Since the first game between the two teams, EIU has lost four of its last five, while the Govs have won three in the same time span.
As the season has progressed, a constant has been the scoring ability of Keisha Gregory.
“I’m going to try and have the ball in her hands every time down the floor, She’s been a really good player for us all four of her years but has even stepped up her game her senior year,” Midlick said. “She’s been aggressive going to the basket and shot the basketball well. We want her also try to set up other players to score.”
EIU possesses a pair of dangerous scorers themselves in Karle Pace and Taylor Steele, who both average over 10 points a game. In the first contest, the Govs held Pace to 7 but allowed Steele to score 17 points and grab eight rebounds.
There is no edge in rebounding as both teams are beside each other in the OVC rebounds per game. APSU, however, is led by Arielle Gonzalez-Varner, fresh off a double-double against SIUE. Varner averages over seven rebounds a game.
“She had a really really good game last night. She had a double-double and she stayed out of early foul trouble.” Midlick said. “We want her to start off being active on the defensive end while still being smart and I think her points and rebounds will come if she concentrates while being out on the floor.”
If the Govs win they will improve to 10-2 at home and 7-5 in conference.
Tipoff for Saturday’s contest is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
1) Belmont (17-5, 10-1)
2) Morehead State (18-6, 9-2)
3) Tennessee Tech (16-6, 8-3)
4) UT Martin (15-6, 8-3)
5) Southeast Missouri (11-11, 6-5)
6) APSU (11-11, 6-5)
7) SIU Edwardsville (10-12, 5-6)
8) Jacksonville State (10-11, 4-7)
9) Mu**ay State (8-14, 4-7)
10) Eastern Illinois (9-13, 3-8)
11) Tennessee State (3-20, 3-8)
12) Eastern Kentucky (2-20, 0-11)
Tennessee Tech at UT Martin
Belmont at Morehead State
Eastern Illinois at APSU
Jacksonville State at Southeast Missouri
Tennessee State at Eastern Kentucky
SIU Edwardsville at Mu**ay State