So do you remember how just a few hours ago I used to phrase “Trap Game” in discussing Austin Peay facing UT Martin. That was my bad. Morehead, Peay, and Tech all take care of business, meaning you can all but count the Colonels out of the OVC race. And then there was that pesky little ESPNU game: Murray rides great shooting and survives 19 turnovers to force a 1st place game on Saturday against rival Austin Peay. All this means that only 3 teams now control their path to a OVC championship, (Peay, Murray, and Tech. Morehead needs a Peay loss) although that could change on Saturday. Tennessee State continues their slide, and is currently out of the final bye in the OVC Tournament.
Murray State 74, Tennessee State 65
In and around Murray it felt like the season was on the line against Tennessee State. The Racers respond behind 21 from Ed Daniel, on the way to handing the Tigers their first conference loss at home. The Tigers hit 9-3’s to keep the game close, but can’t survive 35% shooting from the field. TSU’s depth is highly suspect; The Tigers played just seven players in game. Murray and Peay face off for first place on Saturday. TSU hopes to bounce back against UT Martin.
Eastern Kentucky 54, Tennessee Tech 63
Kevin Murphy comes off the bench and puts up 25, as the Golden Eagles beat the Colonels to stay just a game back of league leaders Austin Peay. EKU held Tech to 20 points in the first half, keeping the Golden Eagles from shooting a single FT, but got into foul trouble early in the 2nd half, allowing Tech to hit 17-24 from the line in the 2nd. Justin Stommes was cold, 1-6 from 3-point range, did end with 14 points in the loss. Up next, Tech hosts Morehead, Eastern looks to pick up a much-needed win over Jax State.
Morehead State 78, Jacksonville State 72
They may have taken a loss, but there’s still life in the Gamecocks. Morehead led by 22 at one point, but watch the Gamecocks put 50 on the board in the 2nd half, but hold off the rally for a 6 point win. Another monster night for Kenneth Faried, 21 points, 20 rebounds, but Demonte Harper leads all scorers with 25 points. Not surprisingly, Morehead wins the battle of the boards 32-22. Morehead stays on the road, traveling to Tennessee Tech. Jacksonville State hosts Eastern Kentucky Saturday.
Tennessee-Martin 53, Austin Peay 82
I don’t they were looking ahead at all. The Govs jumped out to a 17-3 lead, and that was about as close as the game would ever get as UT Martin continues to be baffled on defense, allowing Peay to shoot over 61% from the field, and get out rebounded by 10 to one of the worse rebounding teams in the conference. If it sounds like I’m piling on the Skyhawks, I am. One of the few positives; Martin forced 18 turnovers, but committed 20 themselves. Troy King led the Skyhawks with 20, but 4 Govs scored in double digits in the rout. Austin Peay faces rival Murray on Saturday with 1st place on the line. Martin travels to Tennessee State.