Men’s basketball begins three-game journey at Tennessee Tech
SIUE Cougars (7-9, 1-2 OVC) at Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (4-12, 1-2 OVC)
Thursday, January 20, 6 p.m.
Hooper Eblen Center (7,500)
An effective offensive night wasn’t enough for SIUE on Monday, as the Cougars fell to Belmont 80-64 at First Community Arena. The Cougars had three players scoring in double digits, connected on 46% of their shots and had 17 assists on 23 field goals, but were hampered by turnovers. The Bruins forced 20 turnovers and used them to generate 23 points. The Bruins also outshot SIUE 34-28.
SIUE is playing its 11th Ohio Valley Conference season. The Cougars are 54-118 in OVC play. The head coach Brian Baron has a 13-27 record in OVC play.
SIUE is playing five of its next six games on the road. The Cougars have played eight of their first nine road games. SIUE has three wins on the road this season. Last season, SIUE set a new record for single-season road wins in the Division I era with six.
Ray’Sean Taylor has won the OVC Freshman of the Week award four times this season, including last week. He is the first SIUE player to win more than three weekly OVC awards in the same season.
SIUE is one of the best defensive teams in the OVC, giving up 66.5 points per game, which is third. The Cougars’ opponents are shooting just .402 total and .300 from three-pointers, both of which are top marks in the OVC and 57th and 39th, respectively, in the NCAA.
SIUE pulled 46% to EIU. It was the ninth time this year the Cougars had hit at least 45% of their shots in a game. SIUE reached a season high with 52% of its shots on Dec. 8 against Purdue Fort Wayne. Last year, the team’s season best was 58% against Tennessee Tech.
CRUSH THE BOARDS
The Cougars are second in the OVC with 39.0 rebounds per game, or 50th in the NCAA. SIUE is second in total rebounds at 624. The Cougars lead the OVC in offensive rebounds at 12.9 per game, 27th in the NCAA.