Colonels face Charlotte in CBI Championship Game on Wednesday
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. No. 8-ranked Eastern Kentucky University will face No. 3rd seed Charlotte in the championship game of the 2023 Discount Tire College Basketball Invitational (CBI) today on ESPN2.
The game kicks off at 5pm ET. The live radio broadcast of the game will be available in the Richmond area on WCYO 100.7 FM, or worldwide on EKUSports.com.
The title match features two teams with contrasting styles. EKU is 26th in the NCAA in scoring (78.9 ppg), while Charlotte is 17th in scoring defense (62.4 ppg). The Colonels rank 48th in forced turnovers per game, but the 49ers rank 27th in the nation in fewest turnovers per game. EKU is 39th in the NCAA in steals, while Charlotte is 266th. The Colonels out-rebound their opponents at 3.0 per game and the 49ers become 0.2 boards per game out-rebound.
– After overtime in each of the first two CBI games, EKU (23-13, 12-6 ASUN) defeated No. 4 seed Southern Utah, 108-106, in double overtime to earn a spot in the championship game. Isaiah Cozart hit two free throws with 1.1 seconds left in the second overtime.
– EKU’s 23 wins are the third most in a single season by a colonel team. The record is 25 set in 2012-2013. The 2013-2014 team won 24 games.
– It might be time to change the name of the CBI to “Cozart Basketball Invitational”. Cozart set career-highs for points (20) and rebounds (17) in the opener. In the semifinals, he scored a new career-best 31 points. He has had a double-double in all three games and has averaged 21 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks while shooting 65 percent.
– In three CBI games, the Colonels shoot 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range. EKU scores an average of 96 points per game.
– The Colonels were trailing at halftime of every game in the CBI.
– Tayshawn Comer set new career highs for rebounds (7) and minutes (36), and tied his career high with 15 points in the CBI’s semifinal win over Southern Utah.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
– Charlotte is 21-14 this season. The 49ers have beaten three double-digit seeds en route to the championship game No. 14 Western Carolina (65-56), No. 11 Milwaukee (76-65) and No. 10 Radford (63-56).
– Brice Williams, a 6-foot-7 redshirt junior guard, leads the team in 14 points per game, with 48 percent of his shots from the field and 40 percent from deep.
– Aly Khalifa is second in scoring (11.5 ppg) and first in the team in rebounding (6.4 rpg). The 6-foot-11 redshirt sophomore center shoots 50 percent of the season.
– Williams had 14 points and 11 rebounds in Charlotte’s semifinal win over Radford. Two of Khalifa’s four field goal attempts came from 3-point range. He went 2-for-4 from the field and 1-for-2 from behind the arc, finishing with six points, seven rebounds and five assists.
– The 49ers shot 47 percent from the field against Radford.
WITHIN THE SERIES
– The all-time series between the two programs is 2-2. The squads played four times between 1975 and 1979, with Charlotte winning the first two and EKU winning the next two.
– The most recent encounter was an 84-79 win by the Colonel at Richmond on December 3, 1979.
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