Winter break: Colonel Athletics on the fast break

EKU men's and women's basketball schedules for winter break.

The Eastern Kentucky University men’s and women’s basketball teams are rounding out its non-conference portion of the 2019 season and preparing for the Ohio Valley Conference action to start in early January.

EKU fans will have the chance to watch the Colonel basketball teams in action in Richmond and also on the road around the state.

The men’s basketball team is off to a 3-4 start in A.W. Hamilton’s second year as the head coach.

The men’s basketball team starts winter break with a matchup against No. 2 ranked Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville on Dec. 14.

This will be the fourth Division I team from the Commonwealth of Kentucky that EKU has faced this season. The Colonels will play every Division I team from Kentucky this season.

“This will be the third time in the history of our state that a program will play every Division I team in the state of

Kentucky,” Hamilton said during media day on Oct. 28. “We’re really excited about that opportunity.”

Hamilton played for Louisville head coach Chris Mack when he was playing college basketball at Wake Forest.

“I will never forget, we signed Chris Paul and coach Mack brought me into his office and said you’re probably never going to play and I’ve loved him ever since,” Hamilton said. “He’s a great coach and a great person.”

Playing in-state games also gives Hamilton and his staff a chance to recruit even more players from the state.

“We have more Kentucky kids on our roster than any team in the state,” Hamilton said.

The men’s basketball team will return home for its final non-conference home game at McBrayer Arena on Dec. 21 against Charleston Southern University. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

The last time the Colonels faced the Buccaneers was on Dec. 15, 2017 and the Colonels picked up the victory, 70-65.

EKU will conclude the non-conference portion of the season at East Carolina University on Dec. 28. Tip-off in Greenville, N.C. is set for 4 p.m.

The OVC schedule for the men’s basketball team starts with Tennessee Tech University on Jan. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Last season, the Colonels and Golden Eagles played a close game in Cookeville, Tennessee. EKU defeated Tennessee Tech, 67-66 after a steal by Kelvin Robinson with less than five seconds left in the game helped the Colonels hold on to the road win.

EKU will play four straight OVC home games to start the new year.

The EKU women’s basketball team started the 2019 season on a high note. The Colonels defeated in-state rival, Northern Kentucky University, to open the season with a 69-62 win at McBrayer Arena.

On Nov. 9, the Colonels knocked off the University of Memphis on the road by a final score of 63-60.

“I want to stress to everyone that this is an exciting team and to get out to see this team play,” head coach Samantha Williams said.

In her first season as the head coach, Williams and the Colonels have turned

the program around after picking up the third win of the season on Nov. 24 against Mercer University in overtime, 61-60.

Last season, the Colonels only won two games.

“I told them when I got here that last year was over,” Williams said. “This is a brand new team and a brand new system.”

The women’s basketball team will start winter break with a road test at Vanderbilt University on Dec. 15. The Southeast Conference foe and EKU has not faced since 2008. On Nov. 19, 2008, EKU lost to Vanderbilt by a final score of 80-38.

After upsetting the University of Memphis on the road, Williams and the Colonels are hoping to go 2-0 in the state of Tennessee.

Tip-off in Nashville is set for 4 p.m.

The women’s team will start OVC action on Jan. 2 against Tennessee Tech at McBrayer Arena.

The women’s and men’s teams have identical OVC schedules to start the year.

Follow @SportsEP on Twitter and check out www.easternprogress.com over winter break for more on the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

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