So, last night happened. Two games, two upsets.
Make no mistake, Eastern Kentucky winning at Murray State was an upset. It wasn’t a “worst beats first” kind of upset, and EKU never should have been 8.5 points underdogs like they were at tip, but anyone looking at that score and not expressing some level of surprise either hasn’t been paying attention or lives in Richmond.
It’s not just that EKU won, it’s how dominant they were in doing so. After exchanging early runs, Eastern Kentucky scored 24 unanswered, and continued to answer each and every Racers rally from that point on. They didn’t just win a game, they truly gave the impression they were the better team. And it’s hard at this moment not to say they are.
Austin Peay finally closed, although they needed an extra five minutes to do so after squandering an 21-point lead. Losing second half leads is quickly becoming the Governors calling card.
But that win in particular is impactful, as it gives the West division it’s first win of the year over the East.
Last Night’s Scores
[one_half]Morehead State 81, Austin Peay 84, OT
Eastern Kentucky 77, Murray State 65[/one_half][one_half_last] Recap
Three Point Shot
- Murray State head coach Steve Prohm tried to fall on the sword for his team after the game, saying constantly the loss was his fault, that he didn’t prepare his team well enough. Which, by the way, is almost exactly the same thing he said when the Racers lost to Tennessee State at home last season. While his team I’m sure greatly appreciates the fact that their coach didn’t call them out to the media, trying to deflect all responsibility for the loss from the players is somewhat absurd, and I’m somewhat certain coach’s message to his players was at least slightly different.
- Morehead State head coach Sean Woods hasn’t gotten that pesky fouling issue out of his team’s system just quite yet. The Eagles committed 30 fouls on the night, and as a result Devon Atkinson and Milton Chavis were fouled out by the start of OT.
- Last night’s win was big, but the Colonels still have a hill to climb over the next few weeks, with both Belmont games, traveling to Jacksonville State, hosting Tennessee State, and rival Morehead State all before the end of the month. If they go under five hundred in those games, many aren’t likely to remember their win over Murray State.
Co-Player of the Night: Travis Betran, Austin Peay. After missing a three-pointer at the end of regulation, and fouling Mike Liabo with 15 seconds to play in OT in the Governors loss to UT Martin, Betran hit the game winning three at the buzzer against Morehead State, the final of his 20 points on the night.
Co-Player of the Night: Mike DiNunno, Eastern Kentucky. 20 points on 7-14 shooting, DiNunno hit a few dagger three’s to stop Murray State’s momentum in their tracks.
Player of the Night in a Loss: Chad Posthumus, Morehead State. Another double-double for the JUCO transfer. If it feels like his name is coming out of nowhere, it is, but it shouldn’t have been. Posthumus has been having a really good season, especially on the glass, and it’s a shame it’s taken me until now to notice.
Unsung Hero: Tarius Johnson, Eastern Kentucky. 17 points on 8-11 shooting, and a game-high seven rebounds, even more than Racers forward and OVC leading rebounder Ed Daniel.
Team Trending Upwards: These next two are going to be obvious, but I only have four to choose from after all. Eastern Kentucky, who has officially announced their presence.
Team Trending Downwards: Murray State. It’s just one loss, but the Racers have struggled as of late before tonight as well.