Golden Eagles look to send Kangaroos hopping back to Missouri

Golden Eagles look to send Kangaroos hopping back to Missouri

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Fresh off a key Ohio Valley Conference win over UT Martin Thursday evening, the Tennessee Tech men's basketball team will look to keep its momentum rolling with its final non-conference match-up of the season against Missouri-Kansas City Saturday night.

Missouri-Kansas City (7-21, 4-10)
Tennessee Tech (10-16, 4-10)
Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 / 7 p.m. CST
Eblen Center – Cookeville, Tenn.

The Broadcasts
Television: none
Radio: Fox Sports Radio, 106.1 The Eagle (Roger Ealey)
Webcast: Live on OVC Digital Network

The Last Meeting
Tech will meet an opponent that the team has some familiarity with, having played UMKC four times in the past. The most recent contest between the two programs came back in 1990-91, with the Golden Eagles earning a home victory, 87-74.

What to Watch For
Missouri-Kansas City sits at 7-21 this season, including a 4-10 mark in conference play in the Summit League. The Kangaroos have two players that make the offense go in Estan Tyler and Thomas Staton.

A sophomore guard, Tyler leads UMKC in scoring with 11.3 points per contest. He also leads the team with 85 assists for the year. His nearly 82 percent free throw shooting is tops on the Kangaroo squad. Staton is a senior swingman that puts up 9.9 points per game. Both players pose a threat from behind the 3-point arc, each hitting above 40 percent from downtown.

Year Location Result Score
1987-88 Cookeville, Tenn. W 56-54
1988-89 @ Kansas City, Mo.
W 58-55
1990-91 @ Kansas City, Mo.
L 87-78
1990-91 Cookeville, Tenn. W 87-74

The Golden Eagles have played eight games against current Summit League opponents, earning a 4-4 record against the likes of UMKC, North Dakota State, Oakland (Mich.), and Western Illinois.

UMKC, which hits the road for the first time in four contests, doesn't score a ton, averaging just 61.9 points per game. The squad allows opponents to put up 72.1 points each contest. The Kangaroos pull down 30.8 rebounds per game, while dishing out 9.9 assists. The team shoots at a .426 clip from the field.

Tech's offense has been led all season by the play of senior Jud Dillard. The guard sits second in the OVC in points per game, averaging 19.1. He also ranks third in the league in rebounds, ripping down 7.8 per contest. Dillard also leads the team in free throw percentage, knocking down an impressive 81.5 percent from the charity stripe.

Coming on strong of late for the Golden Eagles has been forward Dennis Ogbe. The junior is currently averaging 10.3 points per game with 5.5 rebounds per contest. He is coming off a career scoring performance over UT Martin, scoring 23 in the 83-68 win. He also leads the OVC in field goal percentage with an incredible .600 mark.

Also entering Saturday's contest off a great performance is point guard Jeremiah Samarrippas. A junior transfer from SMU, Samarrippas scored 14 points while dishing out nine assists with just one turnover. He scores 9.8 points per game, despite battling ankle injuries for the past two months, and has recorded a team-high 112 assists this season. He also leads the Golden Eagles with 46 steals.

Tickets for the game are available by visiting or calling the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center (931-372-3940).

Fans can tune in to 106.1 The Eagle to listen to live coverage of Tech's contest against the Kangaroos on Saturday. Radio coverage will begin 15 minutes prior to the 7 p.m. CST tip-off time. Fans can also view the live game feed on the OVC Digital Network, the Ohio Valley Conference's live webstream for free here.

To read more about the upcoming game and Tennessee Tech basketball, take a look at the game notes for the match-up against Missouri-Kansas City here.