This was a very, very good day for the Ohio Valley Conference, but the OVC is still just 9-11 in non conference games against Division I competition.
This was another not so good day for Tennessee State, who are 3 of those losses, and none of the wins. Here’s the Final Word:
Murray State 79, Auburn 59
Don’t let the final score fool you: this was complete domination by the Racers. Murray State led by as much as 38 before the Tigers made a face-saving run against 5 Racer freshman, as the Racers have the complete attention of the entire Charleston Classic after a domination win in the opening round.
The Racers shot 53% from the floor behind All-American Isaiah Canaan‘s 26 points in 26 minutes last night. In fact, Canaan outscored the entire Auburn team in the first half. Stacy Wilson had a fantastic night from the floor as well. In all, 10 Racers scored on the night.
Auburn shot just 33% from the floor, and turned the ball over 13 times in the first half; 20 on the game.
One thing we saw that was different than in years past: Prohm allowing players to play with 2 fouls in the first half. It appears that isn’t an automatic benching at this point in the season for the experienced starters.
The Racers should get a stiffer test today out of St. John’s.
Alabama A&M 61, Jacksonville State 79
Demarquelle Tabb put up a game high 18 points for the Bulldogs, but it wasn’t enough to overcome four Gamecocks in double figures, as Jacksonville State pulled away to their third straight win the start the season.
The Gamecocks shot 51% from the field, led by 15 points from Tarvin Gaines and Ronnie Boggs. Even more impressive: Jacksonville State had 22 assists on 19 made baskets.
If there is a black mark on this win, it’s the three point shooting. The Gamecocks hit just 2-10, putting them at 27% on the season. While this hasn’t been a strong point in recent years, this year seems to be especially tough from deep, which could cause problems if the Gamecocks get off to a slow start in a game.
Tennessee State 43, Minnesota 72
The hits just keep on coming for the Tigers. Robert Covington fouls out for the second time in three games this season, and the Tigers shoot just 24% in the 29-point loss to the Golden Gophers.
Despite a bad shooting night, Kellen Thorton finished with a double-double with a team-high 11 points and game-high 13 rebounds. The Tigers continue to struggle from deep, hitting just 4-22 from behind the arc.
It’s obvious that Covington can’t play just 20 or 25 minutes due to foul trouble if the Tigers are going to have a chance, but I honestly thought this team had enough good pieces they could compete even if Covington had an off game. Through 3 games this year, I’ve yet to see proof that’s still true.
If you’re hoping the schedule gets easier, it really doesn’t. Next up is a 2-0 South Alabama team that already has a win over Florida State on the young season.