Under a bit of a time crunch today, so no intro, straight to the Final Word:
Western Illinois 50, SIU Edwardsville 62
There’s something about the Jones’ lately in the OVC. Last season, Eastern Kentucky’s Joshua Jones had an explosive senior season, and this year, the Cougars Jerome Jones, who was a solid player last season, is having a great start to his junior season. 26 points, 5-7 shooting from deep, 6 rebounds, and a good out of conference win for SIU Edwardsville over in-state rival Western Illinois.
In two games, the Cougars have only committed 17 total turnovers, fewer than many teams in one game this season, while forcing 35 from No. 15 Missouri and Western Illinois. The Cougars also were able to overcome their size disadvantage on the glass. One negative from tonight: SIU only shot 10 free throws, drawing just 13 total fouls from the Leathernecks.
If you take out Jones’ 10-15 shooting performance from the field, the rest of the team was just a combined 14-39, which is fairly similar to the Leathernecks total 16-39 night. That should show just how important winning the turnover battle has been for the Cougars so far this season.
Fontbonne 58, UTM 84
After trailing by seven midway through the first half, the Skyhawks rallied to blow out Division III Fontbonne. Bobby Jones took the reigns of the offense, leading the way with 26 points, and Myles Taylor added a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Mike Liabo added 11 in his second double-digit scoring effort of the young season.
In the First Word preview, I mentioned how the loss of Terence Smith would impact the ball handling situation for the Skyhawks, and did it ever: 22 turnovers on the night for UT Martin. The Skyhawks did pull down 22 offensive rebounds off of 37 missed shots, and impressive 59%.