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“A win’s a win” is a line I saw on twitter more than a few times last night, after the top teams in each division struggled to pick up wins on the road last night, and while there’s some merit to the saying, you can’t simply ignore the struggles of either team because they won.

Belmont struggled to stop Morehead State, and Murray State won one of the ugliest college basketball games of the year. (Almost as ugly as Georgetown-Tennessee earlier in the season)

Sure, the games count as wins, and both wins were on the road, which is great. But looking ahead, both teams showed flaws that need to be worked on.

Last Night’s Scores

Belmont 64, Morehead State 63
Tennessee State 67, Eastern Kentucky 76
UT Martin 56, Eastern Illinois 69
Austin Peay 74, Jacksonville State 81
Southeast Missouri 77, SIU Edwardsville 80
Murray State 47, Tennessee Tech 39

Three Point Shot

  1. The difference a healthy Mark Yelovich makes? 24 points, 8 rebounds in the win over Southeast Missouri moves the Cougars into second in the OVC West. The Cougars, who have struggled on the glass all year, outrebounded the Redhawks in the win, as neither of SEMO’s starting forwards plays more than 30 minutes before fouling out. Even more impressive, AJ Jones fouled in in 16. The Redhawks are not built to win on guard play alone, but lately it’s been what they’ve been trying to do. If it continues, so will the losses.
  2. Can Austin Peay get in the way of anyone? Jacksonville State shoots 54% from the field in a win, the fourth straight opponent the Governors have allowed to shoot 45% or better from the floor. Austin Peay has no problems scoring themselves, but could be the worst defensive team in the conference.
  3. Just how ugly was Murray State’s 47-39 win? How about 42 turnovers to just 29 field goals. The Racers shoot 34% from the field, 56% from the line, and 6% from 3-point range, and they won. You can’t say much about their defense (holding TTU to 25% shooting, although a fair bit of that was self inflicted by the Golden Eagles) but it was as unpretty of an OVC game as I’ve watched this year.

Player of the Night: Tarvin Gaines, Jacksonville State. 28 points on 11-18 shooting, and he did it with just two three-point attmepts. It’s not often you see a 6’6″ guy break 25 without hitting a few threes.

Player of the Night in a Loss:  Chad Posthumus, Morehead State. 11 points, 10 rebounds. His rebounding total was at least double of any Bruins player.

Team trending upward: SIU Edwardsville. They’re healthier, and are positioned to possibly make a run in the West.

Team trending downward: UT Martin. OVC Tournament chances just got a lot bleaker after last night’s loss to Eastern Illinois.


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OVC Ball
Predicting the OVC race…in mid-December

2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVCOverall

EAST

Belmont8-014-4
Morehead State6-310-12
Tennessee Tech5-39-14
Jacksonville State5-413-11
Tennessee State4-413-8
Eastern Kentucky2-69-14

WEST

UT Martin5-315-8
Murray State5-311-11
SEMO5-310-13
Austin Peay3-57-15
Eastern Illinois1-79-12
SIUE0-85-17
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