AUBURN, Ala. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team will play its first leg of the 2016 Cancun Challenge at Auburn on Thursday night, Nov. 17. Tipoff from Auburn Arena is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET.
WHAT TO KNOW
- The game will air live on the SEC Network and can also be watched online on the WatchESPN app.
- It is EKU’s (1-1) first road game of the season. The Colonels opened the season with a 97-87 win over IUPUI at McBrayer Arena last Friday. On Monday, Eastern erased a 17-point deficit to force overtime, but ultimately fell to mid-major power UNCW, 78-69. Sophomore forward Nick Mayo led the way against UNCW with 20 points and seven rebounds, while freshman guard Asante Gist added 15 points. Senior guard Isaac McGlone (pictured) scored 13 points on perfect 3-of-3 shooting from deep.
- Mayo -- a preseason All-OVC selection -- is currently averaging 22.0 points-per-game. The native of Oakland, Maine is the first Colonel to net 20 or more points in the Colonels’ first two games of the season since Justin Stommes in 2009.
- Junior college transfer Zach Charles pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds vs. UNCW. That is the most rebounds by a Colonel in a single game since Jaron Jones notched 14 in a game vs. SIUE on February 23, 2012.
- Gist was voted the OVC Freshman of the Week on Monday after going for 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the Colonels’ season-opening win over IUPUI.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
- This is the fifth all-time meeting between EKU and Auburn, and first since Dec. 29, 1991. Auburn leads the all-time series, 3-1.
- Eastern’s lone win in the series was a 93-71 victory on Dec. 17, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama. It is EKU’s only win over an SEC team. The Colonels are 1-38 all-time against the conference.
- Coach Bruce Pearl's Auburn club (2-0) has a pair of home wins over North Florida and Georgia State to open the season.
- The Tigers are led by 6-7 forward Danjel Purifoy, who comes in averaging 16.5 points and 4.0 rebounds-per-game.
EKU will play at Texas Tech on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. ET before taking a flight to Cancun. The Colonels will play games in Cancun on Tuesday and Wednesday.
EKU Athletics Photo