The first month of the season hasn’t gone as expected for most every time in the OVC, and today yielded another example of that.
Tennessee Martin pulls of what can only be seen as an upset. And Tennessee Tech holds off an NAIA team looking for an upset.
Here’s today’s final word:
[UT Martin 59, UAB 54] This is a great win for a team that has struggled so far this season, and another great offensive performance by Mike Liabo off the bench. Jason James, get him back in your starting lineup. Your team is better with him in, than out. (My personal opinion, at least) Myles Taylor also had a double-double for the Skyhawks in the win. Only 5 Blazers got into the scoring column, who hit just 5-13 from the FT line.
[Eastern Kentucky 63, Norfolk State 70] The Colonels were lucky the final score was this close. EKU hit 36% from the field, but allowed Norfolk State to hit 66%, and sent the Spartans to the free throw line 34 times in the loss. As I mentioned in the first word, Kyle O’Quinn had no problems against the smaller EKU lineup, hitting 7-9 from the field and finishing with a game high 23 points.
[Morehead State 50, Bucknell 54] To my surprise, the Eagles were able to mostly contain Mike Muscala, but it was guard Bryson Johnson who lit up the Eagles. hitting 6 3’s on the way to game high 20 points. Morehead forced just 9 turnovers from the Bisons, but actually won the turnover battle thanks to only 8 team turnovers. Neither team got to the line often, but the smaller Eagles only shot 6 free throws for the game.
[Wilberforce 83, Tennessee Tech 84] I was planning on refusing to do a recap, much like I refused to give an preview. Yet, the Golden Eagles allow NAIA Wilberforce to hit 50% from the field, 10-18 from 3-point range, and sent them to the line for 28 free throws. Kevin Murphy and Jud Dillard combine for 54 of the team’s 84 points, with Dillard hitting 10-11 from the field. But Murphy’s 31 points was tied for the game high with Wilberforce’s Darius Foster, who hit 6 3’s.
[Jacksonville State 61, Weber State 69] The Gamecocks might be a sleeper team in the conference this year. Consider this your warning. They do fall to 2-4, after only getting 7 points from senior Nick Murphy. 4 Wildcats finished in double digits, and Weber State had a large edge in rebounding over the Gamecocks. But Jacksonville State only turned the ball over 7 times, and held Weber State to under 40% shooting.