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Bob Dixon

Agency Manager

 

Middlesboro, KY 40965

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Bob.Dixon@kyfb.com

Go Big Blue!

Eastern Kentucky Faces No. 1 Purdue Friday

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – For only the third time in program history, the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team will take on the No. 1 ranked team in the Associated Press Poll when the Colonels travel to face Purdue University on Friday.


EKU senior Isaiah Cozart shoots against Alabama last week. (EKU Athletics Photo)

The game will begin at 7 p.m. ET and air live on the Big Ten Network.  The live radio broadcast of the game is available in the Richmond area on WCYO 100.7 FM, or worldwide on EKUSports.com.


THE COLONELS

-  EKU scored the first 13 points of the second half and closed a 29-point halftime deficit to 15, but Alabama hit 19 three-pointers in the game and won 111-67 on Saturday.


EKU has faced the AP No. 1 ranked team twice.  The Colonels lost at No. 1 Kentucky on Dec. 7, 2014 and lost to top ranked Louisville on Dec. 14, 2019.  The Colonels’ most recent victory over a ranked team came on Dec. 19, 2014 with a 72-44 win at No. 18 Miami (Fla.).


Isaiah Cozart registered his 12th career double-double and fifth of the season when he posted 19 points and 12 rebounds at Alabama.  He hit on 8-of-13 from the field and blocked five shots.


Leland Walker scored a game-high 20 points at Alabama.  He has scored 20 points in each of his last two games and is averaging 4.5 assists per game over that span.


Michael Moreno knocked down a season-high six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 18 points at Alabama.


SCOUTING THE OPPONENT

-  Purdue is 11-1 and ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation in the AP and the Coaches Polls.  The Boilermakers are 1-1 in the Big Ten, with their only loss of the season coming in overtime at Northwestern, 92-88.  Among its 11 wins are four against ranked teams – No. 11 Gonzaga (73-63), No. 7 Tennessee (71-67), No. 4 Marquette (78-75) and No. 1 Arizona (92-84).  


- Zach Edey, a 7-foot-4 senior center, leads the team in scoring (24 ppg) and rebounding (10.4 rpg).  He ranks third in the nation in scoring, 10th in rebounding, 13th in blocks (2.42 bpg) and 24th in field goal percentage (62 percent).  Edey swept all six major National Player of the Year Awards following the 2022-23 season.


-  Braden Smith, a 6-foot sophomore guard, leads the team with 6.7 assists per game and is second on the squad in scoring (13.3 ppg) and rebounding (5.5 rpg).


-  Purdue averages 87.3 points per game and allows just 69 points per contest.  The Boilermakers have limited their opponents to just 29 percent shooting from 3-point range.


Purdue ranks among the top-20 teams in the country in both overall field goal percentage (17th) and 3-point field goal percentage (16th).  The Boilermakers have hit 49.7 percent of their shots overall and 39 percent from outside the arc.


INSIDE THE SERIES

Despite residing in bordering states, EKU and Purdue have never met on the basketball court.


The Colonels haven’t faced a Big Ten team since losing 86-61 at No. 4 Wisconsin on Dec. 14, 2013.  That EKU team went on to capture the conference tournament title and play Kansas in the NCAA Tournament.

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