CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia will attempt to close the 2012 portion of its schedule with a win and run its win streak to three games today when Eastern Kentucky pays the Mountaineers a visit at the WVU Coliseum.
WVU (6-5) has bounced back with wins against Oakland and Radford in its last two games since losing back-to back contests against Duquesne and Michigan.
Junior Aaric Murray has made his presence known for the Mountaineers since being left in Morgantown for WVU's trip to play Michigan in Brooklyn two weeks ago.
Murray finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals in the win against Radford. Against Oakland, Murray came off the bench for coach Bob Huggins to score 12 points and grab 10 rebounds in West Virginia's 76-71 win at the Coliseum. Murray leads WVU in both scoring (11 points per game) and rebounding (7.4 per game).
EKU (10-2) enters today's contest with more than a week of rest since beating High Point on Dec. 21. Prior to that, the Colonels had lost consecutive games against North Carolina A&T and nationally ranked Illinois. EKU's 9-0 start was the program's best since the 1946-47 team opened its season with an 11-0 record.
Three EKU players are averaging more than 10 points. Junior guard Glenn Cosey leads the Colonels with a 16.1 average while Mike DiNunno is at 14.4 and Corey Walden is at 10.1. On the defensive end of the floor, EKU allows 63.2 points per game and has been forcing an average of more than 12 turnovers per game. The Colonels have been vulnerable on the glass, allowing opponents more than 33 rebounds per game (six more rebounds per game than EKU is averaging).
Today's contest is West Virginia's final non-conference game before opening the Big 12 portion of its schedule starting Jan. 5 against Oklahoma in Morgantown before. WVU hits the road on Jan. 9 for the team's first Big 12 road game at Texas. WVU has one non-conference game remaining on its schedule - Jan. 19 at Purdue.
Tipoff between the Mountaineers and Colonels is scheduled for 4 p.m. with the game being televised by ROOT Sports. It will also be available to watch online at ESPN3.com.
Reach Tom Bragg at tom.br...@wvgazette.com.