It’s hard to imagine a 9-2 team in panic mode, but I have to think that Eastern Kentucky is there. Make no mistake, the loss to North Carolina A&T is a bad one, even on the road, even for a team coming of a disappointing loss to No. 10 Illinois. With Ohio Valley Conference play on the near horizon, you want to start building momentum now, not losing it.
Belmont, on the other hand, bounced back with a fury, beating a solid South Dakota State squad. Murray State? Another “pulling teeth” win.
But their 16-game road winning streak is alive. In fact, that was the title of Murray State’s game recap.
The best performance of the night: SIU Edwardsville. I don’t care it was a non-Division I team. THEY STOPPED SOMEONE. This needs to be celebrated.
All-in-all, another so-so night for the conference.
Last Night’s Scores
New Orleans 71, Southeast Missouri 94
South Dakota State 49, Belmont 76
Samford 75, UT Martin 62
Robert Morris Springfield 49, SIU Edwardsville 81
Morehead State 75, South Dakota 85
Murray State 61, Arkansas State 54
Eastern Illinois 45, St. Louis 72
Three Point Shot
- Morehead State committed 32 personal fouls last night, compared to just eight for South Dakota. The Coyotes hit 43-50 from the line in the win. And the Eagles forced just 7 turnovers, a season low by far. The fact they only lost by 10 is somewhat impressive. What’s not is their defense. It’s undisciplined, often out of control, and a byproduct of a team playing too fast for their personnel. I love what Sean Woods is trying to do at Morehead State, but Donnie Tyndall did not recruit those type of players, and Woods needs to adjust until he can get more of his style in.
- I’m worried about the Colonels. Last night showed a big flaw in their defense, and some depth issues we haven’t seen. The Colonels shot the three ball extremely well, limited the Aggies to just two three pointers on the night, but allowed North Carolina A&T to shoot 55% from the floor. Winning on the road is hard. We’ll see how they do at High Point on Friday
- As much as I’ve harped on SEMO’s guard play, I need to point out when they play well. Corey Wilford was terrific last night, hitting 5-8 from three on his way to a game-high 18 points. And Lucas Nutt: 8 points, but 10 assists, a season high out of the seniors. If those two can step up night after night, the Redhawks could insert themselves into the OVC title conversation
Player of the Night: Trevor Noack, Belmont. The Bruins forward is showing just how much better he is this year, putting up a career high 24 points on a very efficient 9-13 shooting night. And he did all that in just 21 minutes. Great night from the senior.
Player of the Night in a loss: Mike Liabo, UT Martin. The guard has fought through injury, being taken out of the starting lineup, but he has those nights that just make you think he’s got something special. He goes 5-12 from three, but finishes with a game-high 23 points in the loss to former OVC school Samford.
Unsung Hero: Stacy Wilson, Murray State. The Racers have been needing him to bounceback, and it didn’t happen from the floor, shooting just 3-12. But the 6’3″ guard pulls down a game high 13 rebounds, as the Racers survive a test from the Red Wolves.
Team Trending Upward: Southeast Missouri. Guard play has been the missing link, and although it’s far too early to say they have it, tonight was a huge step in the right direction.
Team Trending Downward: Eastern Kentucky. Losers of two straight, and now there are a lot more rumbling using a certain f-word that rhymes with broad to describe EKU’s 9-0 start. If you’re the Colonels, you don’t want to lose Friday, because if you do there’s a good chance you’ll enter OVC play having dropped four straight.