In what should be a terrific matchup, Cornerstone University's men's basketball team hosts conference rival Davenport University at 3 p.m. this Saturday.
The Panthers of Davenport (11-3 WHAC, 18-4 overall) are currently tied with Madonna University for No. 1 in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) and No. 10 in the most recent National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) coaches' poll.
The Golden Eagles of Cornerstone (8-6 WHAC, 14-8 overall) are in tied for fourth place in the WHAC. In their last meeting, Cornerstone suffered a heartbreaking 91-85 loss at Davenport, a game which was decided in the final minute. Cornerstone's starters combined for 83 of their 85 points in that game, led by sophomore Shane Moreland with 19 and followed closely by Wes Hudson and Ty Mason with 18 and 17, respectively. This time around, Cornerstone's bench will need to play a more significant role.
Coming into Saturday's game, junior guard Wes Hudson leads the team in scoring, averaging just over 17 points per game. Starting forwards Derek Kingshott and Jake Plite are both averaging a crucial 11 points per game. Plite is averaging close to seven rebounds per game to lead the team. Off the bench, junior forward Alex Lyle is adding more than six points per game, while sophomore forward Justin Pepper is pulling down 4.5 rebounds per game.
Senior forward Derek Kingshott said, "We're hungry. We wanted the win last time, but we couldn't pull it off. This time will be different."
As his team is preparing for what promises to be a fight to the finish, Cornerstone's men's basketball head coach Kim Elders said, "The Davenport game has become one of the biggest games of the year for us over the past three to four seasons. They have established themselves as one of the premier teams in the conference and in the nation. It's a huge rivalry. Our players always look forward to playing Davenport, as I know they look forward to playing us. Saturday's game will be no different. It should be a great game."
The men's game will tip off following the women's game (1 p.m. start time) in the Hansen Athletic Center on Cornerstone's campus. Tickets are available at the gate.
For more information visit www.cornerstone.edu.