Ohio's been waiting to play Eastern Michigan for over a month. The two programs will square off for the first time this season when Eastern Michigan comes to The Convo on Thursday afternoon.
The Bobcats and the Eagles were supposed to open their Mid-American Conference slates against each other. However, the game, originally scheduled for Dec. 28, was postponed after the Eagles paused program activities due to COVID-19 protocols. The game was rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 3, but the fine details had to be adjusted. Tipoff was pushed up to 2 p.m. due to a winter storm forecast for the Athens area.
Winter storm or not, the Bobcats (17-3, 8-1 MAC) have the date circled. They pulverized Ball State on Tuesday night, but only having just a day's rest might hamper their performance against the Eagles.
The Eagles (8-12, 3-6 MAC) are in the midst of a rebuild year. After former coach Rob Murphy departed following a disappointing 2020-21 season, Stan Heath was hired last April to head the team. Heath has brought a bit more success compared to last season, but the Eagles have hit a skid in MAC play and dropped five of their last six games.
Here's what you need to know about the Eagles ahead of Thursday's game:
Opponent: Eastern Michigan
Venue: The Convo
Time: 2 p.m.
Listen: Ohio IMG Sports Network
Live stats: Live stats are provided here.
Meet the opponent
25 Nate Scott
13 Mo Njie
02 Monty Scott
05 Noah Farrakhan
10 Darion Spottsville
Individual statistical leaders
Points: Farrakhan (17 points per game)
Rebounds: Nate Scott (5.5 rebounds per game)
Assists: Monty Scott (2.47 assists per game)
Field goal percentage: Njie (55.4%)
3-point percentage: Njie (60%)
Free throw percentage: Thomas Binelli (100%)
Team statistical profile
Points per game: 71.6
Rebounds per game: 35.1
Assists per game: 10.2
Turnovers per game: 14.3
Field goal percentage: 43.4%
3-point percentage: 32.1%
Free throw percentage: 72.1%
Ohio leads the all-time series 52-26. The two programs last met on Feb. 25, 2021, when the Bobcats defeated the Eagles 86-67 inside The Convo.
The Bobcats have had little trouble handling the Eagles at home. Since the 2004-05 season, Ohio is 9-2 when playing against Eastern Michigan at home, and both losses were by nine points or less.
Player to watch
Farrakhan — After transferring from East Carolina in early August, Farrakhan has become one of Eastern Michigan’s most reliable starters. He leads the team in points and steals per game, ranks second in assists and is an above average 3-point shooter. However, Farrakhan is young and his shooting still needs work. He’s shooting 40.3%from the field this season and has shot under 40% in four of his last six games.