The race to the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Tournament is on. This afternoon the Columbia International University Rams will take on the Reinhardt Eagles on the campus of Reinhardt University. Both teams are coming off significant games, with the Rams looking to bounce back from a narrow loss to Union College, and the Eagles riding high after a dramatic victory over Pikeville.
The Eagles, who are currently positioned 5th in the AAC standings with an 11-10 overall record and a 10-8 conference record, are hoping to continue their winning streak after a roller coaster start to the season. The team has shown remarkable resilience, particularly in their recent victory against Pikeville, where they managed to overcome a nine-point deficit in the first half and a 14-point gap early in the second half.
Nate Jones, who has been a consistent leader for the Eagles, led the scoring with 21 points, backed by significant contributions from the bench, including Darrien Reed, Tayden Owens, Nehki Fisher, and Tyler Smith, the latter making a notable return from injury. The Eagles’ overall stats this season highlight a team that excels in scoring, averaging 80.2 points per game with a field goal percentage of 45.0%.
NAIA GAME BROADCAST INFO:
2024 Regular Season, NAIA Conference Game
Columbia Rams vs Reinhardt Eagles
Date: February 6th | Time: 7:30pm EST
Location: Brown Athletic Center – Waleska, Georgia
TV: Southeast Sports Network | TV: ETC Now
Radio: Unavailable | Stats: Eagles Athletics
Announcer(s): Gabriel Schray, Lorenzo Robinson
The Eagles defensive efforts are also noteworthy, with an average of 32.5 rebounds per game. The team’s ability to come together, especially in critical moments, will be crucial against the Rams. On the other side, the Rams, with a 14-9 overall record and 13-6 in the conference, are not to be underestimated. They showed remarkable tenacity in their recent game against Union College, nearly overcoming a 19-point deficit.
Darrian Oates, who during that matchup became CIU’s all-time leading scorer with 1,553 career points, will be a key player for the Rams. Oates’ scoring ability, alongside significant contributions from DiAnthony Heathcock, Brandon Hunt, and Christian Howard, showcases the depth and versatility of the Rams’ roster.
The Rams’ cumulative statistics reveal a balanced team with an effective scoring distribution and a solid defense, averaging 77.87 points per game while maintaining a 37.5 rebound average. Their resilience and ability to fight back from challenging positions will be vital in their clash against the Eagles.
The Eagles will likely aim to capitalize on their recent momentum, focusing on their scoring depth and defensive resilience. Meanwhile, the Rams will need to leverage their leading scorers’ abilities and ensure they maintain pressure throughout the game to secure a win. With both teams eager to assert their dominance in the AAC, today’s game promises to be a fun one.
Tune in at 7:00 PM via the Southeast Sports Network. Your source for live and free basketball across the southeast.