Coach Rob Murphy knows Eastern Michigan University will be in for a challenge on the road against Purdue University.
“Anytime you go on the road, it is [always] going to be a tough environment,” Murphy said. “I am sure [Purdue] remembers when we beat them too and they didn’t forget that, so they are looking to get back and get a win.”
Guard Raven Lee will be counted on to have a bounce-back game after scoring four on 2-of-13 from the field in his last two games against the University of Kentucky and the University of Massachusetts.
Leading scorer Karrington Ward (15.3) will also play key role for EMU’s offense.
After a five-point outing against Kentucky, Ward asserted himself more in the UMass game as he scored 11 on 3-of-7 shooting, 1-of-3 from three-point range and 4-of-4 from the foul line.
Ward is one of four Eagles (Mike Talley, Daylen Harrison and Da’Shonte Riley) to have started all seven games this season.
After playing a career-high 36 minutes against UMass, Riley will be expected to be more of a presence on both sides of the ball after finishing one rebound shy of his first double-double of the season with 10 points and nine boards.
Two players to watch out for Purdue is guard Terone Johnson, who leads the team in scoring (13.2) and went for a season-high 18 points in its 88-67 win over Boston College in the Big Ten/Atlantic Coast Conference challenge last night.
Terone’s brother, Ronnie Johnson is the team’s second leading scorer (13.0).
The Johnson brothers are the only Boilermakers to have started all nine games this season.
Free throws have been an issue for Purdue as they have shot 150-of-229 (65.5 percent), which ranks 283rd in Division I.
Did you know? This is the third straight season in which EMU and Purdue have met in the regular-season.
Purdue leads the all-time series 3-1.
In the teams’ last meeting on Dec. 8, 2012, the Eagles defeated the Boilermakers 47-44 at the Convocation Center.
Despite the win, no EMU player scored in double digits.
Derek Thompson scored a team-high eight, while Harrison chipped in with four points and 11 rebounds.
Terone led the Boilermakers with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Both teams could not find the touch from the field as EMU shot 17-of-55 (30.9 percent) while Purdue went 14-of-47 (29.8 percent).
Eastern Michigan vs. Purdue
Tipoff: 2 p.m. Saturday, Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Ind.
Online/radio: WatchESPN/WEMU 89.1 FM
Records: Eastern Michigan 5-2, Purdue 7-2
Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.