Here’s last night’s final word (since this isn’t being posted until after midnight)
[Morehead St. 51, SEMO 67] Recap
So for those of you keeping score at home, my 3rd trip to Cape proves just as disastrous as the first 2. So far I’ve had no internet, I’ve lost my cell phone, and tonight I got a speeding ticket on the way back in the middle of BFE mainly because I forgot to turn on my cruise control. Sigh.
My travel troubles aside, SEMO’s players after the game talked a lot about their defense. But here’s the thing, I don’t think SEMO’s defense played exceptionally well. Morehead State still hit 40% from the field on the night, and sure their 3-point shooting was poor, but that wasn’t necessarily the result of good defense. Most of those looks, as I said in my recap, were good looks. They just missed those shots.
Inside, SEMO’s defense was exceptional. Leon Powell stayed out of foul trouble (mostly because Morehead’s guards backed off of driving the basketball after 2 big blocks by Powell during the Redhawks 15-0 opening run) and Morehead State only finished with 2 second-chance points.
Aside from that 15-0 run, the two teams actually played about equal. It wasn’t largely lopsided from that point on. I would have been interested to see what would have happened if that run didn’t occur, because I think it would have been a great contest. Too bad they don’t meet again in the regular season.
[Arkansas Pine-Bluff 55, Jacksonville State 78] Did the Gamecocks finally find some offense? Well it always helps when you’re going against a 1-9 (now 1-10) team that ranks in the bottom of the nation in defense, and offense, and just about every other important statistic.
Not that should stop Jacksonville State fans from being excited about the win. During the game, they built their biggest lead in a game since 2009, and any time you get a 20+ point win, it’s cause for excitement. (Especially with a team that struggles to score many more than 20 points in a half)
I still think that if Jacksonville State can find some footing on offense, they should be able to make a run at the OVC tournament. Their defense has been outstanding, and can keep them in a lot of games. I’ll be curious to see how the SEMO guards, who play the Gamecocks next, handle this defense, which is much stronger than the soft Morehead State zone the Redhawks gutted tonight.