The Bruins have a post-thanksgiving hangover, and Jacksonville State prove once again that offense is overrated. At least we’re talking about basketball again.
The OVC is back under .500 against Division I competition, now 22-26. But where they rank as a conference is, well, all over the place. Sagarin puts the OVC in 23rd, but RealTimeRPI has the Ohio Valley 10th in RPI, and BB State puts the conference 14th. So, take your pick.
Three Point Shot
- I’ve said this once already, and I’ll say it again: Isaiah Canaan might not just run away with OVC player of the year. Ian Clark put up nine threes, many from NBA range in Belmont’s loss to Northeastern. He’s been impressive in Alaska so far.
- Jacksonville State might be the most boring team to watch, but their defense and pace is going to hold a lot of OVC teams under 60 points this year. The question is still if they can outscore teams without the three.
- Belmont needs Kerron Johnson to step back up. He’s struggled in both games in Alaska, and they need him to perform well to get wins, as evidenced last night.
Belmont 71, Northeastern 74
Ian Clark shoots 9-11 from three point range, but it’s not enough for the Bruins to hold on to a 16-point second half lead. It ends the best start in Belmont’s NCAA history. (Seriously. 4-0. Think about that.)
The Bruins blew two double-digits leads: Belmont raced out to a 19-4 lead, only to see that lead whittled down the 3 at the half. Then after Northeastern tied the game at 39, the Bruins scored 16 unanswered to take their largest lead of the game with 12:58 left. The Huskies would respond with a run of their own…21-6 over the next 6 minutes, pulling back within one.
But it wasn’t until a David Walker three with :58 remaining the Northeastern would take it’s first lead all game, 70-68. J.J. Mann missed a baseline three on the next possession, and Northeastern would make two huge free throws on the next possession to take a four-point lead. Belmont would respond with another 24-foot three from Clark with 14 seconds remaining. But on the inbounds, Clark would foul out going for a steal.
After a foul and two more made free throws, Belmont had one chance for the tie with 10 seconds remaining. With Clark out, Kerron Johnson took the three, which fell off the mark, allowing Northeastern the come from behind win.
Clark wasn’t the only sharpshooter on the floor: Northeastern’s Joel Smith hit 6-9 from deep, as the Huskies shot 9-19 from behind the arc, and 50% from the floor in the win.
One big difference between the halves: turnovers. Belmont forced 13 first half turnovers, only 5 in the second half.
Jacksonville State 50, Northern Arizona 48
Despite shooting 33% from the field and hitting just 2-10 from behind the arc, the Gamecocks use 19 turnovers to move to 4-2 on the year with a win over Northern Arizona.
Much like the Belmont game, the Gamecocks nearly blew a double-digits second half lead. After a back-and-forth start, Jacksonville State scored 12 straight heading into the half to have 31-19 lead. But the Lumberjacks came out with 16-6 run of their own to start the second half to pull back within two.
Gabe Rogers scored 13 in a row for Northern Arizona during the second half comeback, but it was a Jordyn Martin layup that broke the streak that put Northern Arizona in front with 8:30 to play. A mini 6-0 run by the Gamecocks would put Jacksonville State up for good.
The two teams combined for just 4 three pointers on the game, as old school basketball is apparently still alive and well.