APSU and Eastern Illinois enter Saturday’s matchup at 7-9 and 8-8 respectively. APSU enters 2-3 in Ohio Valley Conference play, dropping the last three games. EIU sits at 2-3 in the conference correcting their three game-skid over Mu**ay State.
The Govs hold the edge winning three of their last four against EIU. APSU Head Coach David Midlick is 4-2 overall against EIU since taking over the program. A fun note, the Govs have won the last six opening matchups of the season against EIU.
EIU is biding for a 3-3 record in conference play, while the Govs look to bounce back from a three-game losing streak, which should make for an interesting OVC matchup. The Govs were one of six teams with a 2-2 record in conference play before their loss to SIUE, while EIU sat at 10th in the standings before their win over Mu**ay. Both teams enter with similar statistics on team offense, while EIU has the advantage on defense.
APSU and EIU sit at fifth and six in scoring offense in the conference respectively. APSU averages 71.1 points a game, while EIU is scoring 70.1 points per game. The Panthers are fifth in total defense in the conference allowing only 63.6 points, while the Govs allow 69.6, good for eighth.
The Panthers are led in scoring by sophomore Karle Pace, currently averaging 14.7 points per game. The Govs leading scorer is junior Arielle Gonzalez-Varner, averaging 13.3 points per contest.
APSU’s last three matches have begun with slow starts. In their matchup with UT Martin, the Govs trailed 26-6 at the end of the first quarter. In the Southeast Missouri game, the Govs fell behind 8-0 to start the game. The last outing resulted in a one-point loss, which shows improvement compared to the two outings prior.
If the team looks to get back on track, the Govs will have to start out fast.
After winning against UT Martin to start 1-0 in the conference, the Panthers lost three games in a row by at least nine points in every contest, before snapping the streak against Mu**ay.
Another subject to note, the Govs have yet to win on the road this season. If that trend continues, making the conference tournament will almost be impossible.
Overall, this game is crucial for both teams as they try to climb into position in the conference race. If APSU hopes to turn the season around, snapping the three-game losing streak and closing out the four-game road trip with a win almost seems to be a must.