Belmont (18-1, 12-0) vs. Eastern Illinois (6-13, 3-9)
Lantz Arena, Charleston, Illinois; Thursday, 8:30 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Belmont looks for its ninth straight win in the head-to-head series over Eastern Illinois. Belmont has won by an average of 24 points in its last eight wins over the Panthers. Eastern Illinois’ last win in the series came on Jan. 10, 2015, an 84-73 win.
SENIOR STUDS: Eastern Illinois has relied heavily on its seniors this year. Marvin Johnson, Josiah Wallace, Kashawn Charles and Henry Abraham have combined to account for 53 percent of all Panthers scoring this season, though that figure has dropped to 29 percent over the last five games.
OVC IMPROVEMENT: The Bruins have scored 74.2 points per game across 12 conference games, an improvement from the 78.7 per game they recorded over six non-conference games.MIGHTY MARVIN: Johnson has connected on 33.3 percent of the 60 3-pointers he’s attempted. He’s also converted 72.1 percent of his free throws this season.
WINLESS WHEN: Eastern Illinois is 0-10 this year when it scores 67 points or fewer and 6-3 when it scores at least 68.
BEHIND THE ARC: Belmont’s Luke Smith has attempted 129 3-pointers and connected on 41.9 percent of them, and is 10 for 27 over the last five games.
DID YOU KNOW: The Belmont offense has scored 82.5 points per game this season, ranking the Bruins 16th among Division I teams. The Eastern Illinois defense has allowed 74.3 points per game to opponents (ranked 241st overall).
For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25
This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com