By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Colonels (14-4, 4-1, OVC) will be looking to bounce back from their first OVC loss Thursday at Belmont when they take on Jacksonville State (12-6, 4-3 OVC) today at 2:30 p.m.
The game televised by FOX Sports South and can also be heard on WCYO 100.7 FM and at EKUSports.com, and seen on OVCDigitalNetwork.com.
The Colonels rallied from a 17-point, first-half deficit against the Bruins but could not hang on as Belmont scored six of the last seven points of the game to win.
In the loss, the Colonels got a huge lift off the bench from sophomore Timmy Knipp, who had a career-high 13 points, including two big three-pointers to begin the second half to help EKU erase the deficit and take a one-point lead.
Senior Mike DiNunno also had a career-high scoring night, pouring in 24 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field.
The EKU defense forced the Bruins into 21 turnovers and have forced their last four opponents into an average of 19.3 turnovers per game.
Jacksonville State also lost a game in Nashville Thursday, falling to Tennessee State, 66-60. The loss broke a two-game OVC win streak for the Gamecocks.
JSU comes into the game as the best scoring defense in the conference, allowing its opponents to score only 60.7 points per game. But the Gamecocks are 10th in the conference in scoring, averaging 64.3 points per game, while shooting 43 percent from the field and 33 percent from behind the three-point line. The Gamecocks only shoot 67 percent from the free throw line.
Sophomore Darion Rackley leads JSU at 14 points per game, while senior Tarvin Gaines is averaging 13.8 point and 4.8 rebounds per game. Ronnie Boggs is third on the team in scoring at 11 points per contest and leads the Gamecocks in rebounding with an average of 5.7 per game.
Jacksonville State leads the series 7-3 in games played at Jacksonville, but the Colonels lead the all-time series with 11 wins and 7 losses and have won four games in a row, including the last two at Jacksonville.
Both teams have been missing their starting point guards. Rackley has missed the last two contests for the Gamecocks, while Glenn Cosey has missed three straight games with and hand injury.