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Ohio Valley conference play is officially underway…as the OVC has one of it’s best nights of the season as a conference.

Here’s tonight’s Final Word:

[Tennessee Tech 72, Evansville 70] When you shoot 50% from the field, you shouldn’t need a 3-point shot with 27 left to go to win it. But the Golden Eagles fight back from a 9-point 2nd half deficit, and get a solid win of the road against Evansville.

The Purple Aces stayed in this game thanks to 27-30 (!) shooting from the FT line, but hit just 3-15 from behind the arc on their way to their 3rd home loss of the season.

At this point you should know who led the Golden Eagles: Kevin Murphy and Jud Dillard combined for 41 points and 15 rebounds. The other 3 starters: 15 points, 3 rebounds. That’s it. Zac Swansey does dish out 7 assists, and gets 3 steals.

Tennessee Tech doesn’t get to conference play for another 12 days, but next travels to take on West Virginia before heading to the Las Vegas Classic.

[Tennessee State 59, Delaware State 55] The Tigers pick up a win a long way from home led by a double-double from Robert Covington, who puts up 24 of Tennessee State’s 59 points.

Tennessee State scored just 21 points in the first half, and overcame a 6 point halftime deficit.

Depth proved to be an issue for the Hornets, who played just 8 players all game, with starter Abdulwali Kasim playing just 7 minutes in the loss.

Both teams turned the ball over just 9 times in the contest.

Tennessee State has a good chance to finish the non-conference schedule over .500, with 2 out of conference games remaining against lower division opponent LeMoyne Owen and Alabama A&M before opening OVC play against UT Martin on the 29th.

[Eastern Kentucky 59, Jacksonville State 53] Who called this game would be played in the 50’s? Who was that again? Oh yeah, that was me.

The Colonels shoot just 41 field goals, but go 20-24 from the free throw line, and hold off a late surge from the Gamecocks to open up OVC play with a win on the road.

Neither team shoots well from behind the arc (EKU 10%, JSU 12.5%) and Eastern Kentucky  pulls down just 2 offensive rebounds, and still gets the win.

Jaron Jones has another big game, but not from the field. Jones scored 16 points, 12 of which came from the charity stripe.

Stephen Hall did not play for the Gamecocks.

[Arkansas State 53, No. 24 Murray State 66] Recap. I said I was going to rant about the crowd (of 4 thousand people) last night and I’ll do that here.

After the game, we asked head coach Steve Prohm about how he was trying to get the crowd into the game, and he said that it was his and the players responsibility to get the team into the game.

I could not disagree more.

I’m glad that during Christmas break, more than 4,000 people were able to watch the Racers.

But most of those 4,000 sat in silence as Arkansas State built a 9-point 1st half lead.

That’s when they need you to cheer.

Not when your team builds a 19-point lead in the 2nd half.

[Rochester College 50, Austin Peay 72] This one wasn’t the yawner the matchup, or the final score, might lead you to believe. The Governors actually trailed at the half, but ran away thanks to a 47-point 2nd half.

Austin Peay holds Rochester College to 32% shooting, while shooting 47% from the field themselves.

TyShwan Edmonson has a monster game off the bench, scoring a game high 28 points in 30 minutes. With the performances he’s had as the 6th man, do you move him back into the starting lineup? I say yes, but many others say keep him on the bench if that’s what’s working.


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OVC Ball
Predicting the OVC race…in mid-December

2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVCOverall

EAST

Belmont8-014-4
Morehead State6-310-12
Tennessee Tech5-39-14
Jacksonville State5-413-11
Tennessee State4-413-8
Eastern Kentucky2-69-14

WEST

UT Martin5-315-8
Murray State5-311-11
SEMO5-310-13
Austin Peay3-57-15
Eastern Illinois1-79-12
SIUE0-85-17
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