(In case you missed it on Twitter, sorry about not having a first word today. Internet was down at home all morning long)
Today was not for the feint of heart, as every game went down to the wire in OVC play.
But the big news of the day came before tip, as Morehead State’s top scorer is out for the rest of the season.
Here’s today’s Final Word:
Once again, Jacksonville State can’t take advantage of an early lead, and never really pull away from the Eagles, although the Gamecocks put together one of the best shooting performances from they floor they’ve had in some time, they hit just 12-23 from the charity stripe, and turn the ball over 15 times.
The big question over the next few weeks is who will be able to score in Hill’s place, and tonight it was Drew Kelly, who put up a season high 20 points in the win.
If Jacksonville State can’t win at home against a Eagles team without their leading scorer, I really worry about their chances of making the OVC tournament in March.
[SEMO 73, UT Martin 71] Full Recap
One thing I didn’t mention in the full recap was the UT Martin only committed 7 turnovers. This from a team that has been PLAGUED by turnover problems all season long, so this is another sign of improvement.
And that’s where I think the narrative has to go with the Skyhawks. No, the team isn’t good, and yes, they may miss the OVC tournament. And while the season isn’t over, when you have this many young players that will return (hopefully healthy) next season, and you’re struggling so much this year, it may be time to start thinking about what’s best for 2012-13.
When Dickie Nutt got fired from Arkansas State and hired by SEMO, I knew the Redhawks had just gotten an absolute steal. He has done a masterful job of turning around a team that was below where even the Skyhawks are this season. I hope SEMO can hold onto to Nutt for a few years, because I think he has the capability of making SEMO a NCAA tournament team again. Just not this season.
[Tennessee State 86, Tennessee Tech 92] How does this Tennessee Tech team lose to SIU Edwardsville again? Oh right, Zac Swansey and Kevin Murphy didn’t combine for 58 points like they did tonight against the Tigers.
In fact, outside of Swansey, Murphy, and Jud Dillard, the rest of the Golden Eagles combined for 14 points.
So sure, they’re one of the 2 best backcourts in the OVC. But if one or two of those 3 have an off game again, what’s to keep them from falling to another Edwardsville?
Tennessee State had a very balanced scoring attack tonight, but you simply can’t win when you allow another team to shoot 58% from the field. Just ask UT Martin.