The potential OVC Tournament field is down to 10. With Austin Peay’s 38-point loss to Eastern Kentucky, the Governors are the first team eliminated from tournament contention.
That means this year’s conference tournament will be without Austin Peay for the first time since 1984.
Outside the elimination, there were a pair of tight contests that made for a very entertaining Thursday.
Last Night’s Scores
Austin Peay 53, Eastern Kentucky 91
Recap | The Governors go down in a blaze. EKU shoots 59% from the field, and force 21 Austin Peay turnovers, as they handed the Governors their most lopsided loss of the season
Murray State 106, Morehead State 100 2OT
Recap | Murray State blows a 20-point second half lead, only before Morehead State blows a 7-point lead with two minutes remaining in the first overtime. Isaiah Canaan goes for 35 points, and plays for 49 minutes in the Racers win.
Southeast Missouri 65, Jacksonville State 67
Recap | This one is going to sting. Southeast Missouri misses a last-second three, but were put in that situation by a goaltending call in the final 10 seconds. The Redhawks jumped out to an early-lead, but the Gamecocks erase an 8-point halftime deficit on their way to a win.
Tennessee State 83, SIU Edwardsville 73
Recap | Kris Davis leads all scorers with 25 points, but the Tigers shoot 58% from the field on their way to securing at least a bye in the OVC Tournament. Four Tigers score in double-figures, as Tennessee State used a second-half run to break open a close game.
Belmont 80, Eastern Illinois 49
Recap | Any momentum built up from beating Murray State didn’t last long. Eastern Illinois shoots just 1-12 from 3-point range, and 32% from the field, as they’re blown out of the water by the Bruins. Ian Clark and Kerron Johnson combine for just seven points in the win.
Three Point Shot
- Did we actually learn anything tonight? Belmont and EKU are still very good. Murray State can be great, and they can be frustrating. They were both in one night. Morehead State is skilled, but doesn’t play disciplined. It’s pretty normal this time of year to feel like we’re getting a good handle on teams, and this year is no exception.
- The top 4-teams are locked. EKU, Murray State, Belmont, and Tennessee State will be the top-4 seeds in Nashville, although the order is still up for grabs. Can you see a team outside the top-4 crashing the party? Tennessee State seems the most vulnerable, but tonight showed how big a divide there still appears to be from the top to the bottom of the conference this year.
- Murray State – Morehead State was the first OVC game in two years with both teams reaching triple digits. The last? January 13th of 2011. Tennessee Tech topped UT Martin 109-105 in three overtimes that night.
Co-Player of the Night: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State. Canaan struggled early, but when his team needed him in the two overtimes, the All-American came through. As mentioned above, 35 points, and 49 minutes on the court for the Racers.
Co-Player of the Night: Patrick Miller, Tennessee State. I love a guard’s double-double. 17 points, 11 assists to help the Tigers get past a scrappy SIU Edwardsville team tonight.
Player of the Night in a loss: Nino Johnson, Southeast Missouri. He was the player who was called for the goaltend, but before that he scored 11 points on 5-6 shooting from the field, and pulled down 12 rebounds. It’s the sophomores eighth double-double of the year.
Unsung Hero: Devon Atkinson, Morehead State. Another guard double-double, 13 points and 10 assists in a loss to Murray. He did commit 7 turnovers though, in a very sloppy game for the Eagles.
Team Trending Upward: EKU / Belmont. Both schools put up beatdowns as both teams build momentum for the OVC Tournament.
Team Trending Downward: Austin Peay. Back-to-back losing seasons, and now they still need wins to avoid the most losses in school history.