The Christmas break is officially over for the OVC, sooner rather than later for 3 teams in action tonight, including one conference tilt between 2 teams who both had mixed results in non-conference play. While most people downplay these early conference games, with both of these teams hoping for a bye in March, this match could go a long way later in the season.
Here’s today’s First Word:
[Morehead State (6-7, 0-0) at SEMO (5-7, 0-0), 7:30 p.m. CST] Live Coverage tonight on Twitter @OVCBall
Morehead State has talented guards, and a weak front court.
SEMO has talented forwards, and a weak back court.
This will either be an amazing matchup, or an incredible poor one.
The Eagles are coming off likely their best win of the season against Ball State, forcing 24 turnovers against the Cardinals, an area the Eagles guards have excelled this year. Not surprisingly, the Redhawks guards are among the worst in the nation at forcing turnovers.
On the flip side, the Eagles forwards have struggle shooting (and as a result scoring) an area the Redhawks excel in. But Leon Powell‘s on-again, off-again play has been off the past 2 games, thanks once again to foul trouble: Powell has already fouled out of 3 contests this year. Morehead’s State junior college transfer Milton Chavis has been a bright spot in the front court, pulling down over 5 rebounds per game despite playing just 17 minutes a game.
And the Gamecocks have found their offensive match: a team as terrible (worse, actually) on the offensive end as them. Only the Golden Lions are also soft on the offense end of the ball, which adds up to an average loss of 20 points per game, including coming off a 48 point loss to Cincinnati. As a result, the Gamecocks are rare favorites in this game.
After just 7 total points in the last 2 games, the Gamecocks only senior Stephen Hall is expected to come off the bench again tonight. The team’s 2nd highest scorer Tarvin Gaines hasn’t played since December 11th, and is expected to be out again tonight.