So, all I have to say on why is so late today: Blame Louisville at Notre Dame. When I got home from Murray, I got dinner, and then decided to sit down and watch it, having no idea it went to five overtimes. Three and a half hours later, I was pretty well ready for bed.
Sadly, there was very little drama across the conference in Saturday, as most winners were able to pull away and win fairly easily.
Last Night’s Scores
Eastern Illinois 64, Southeast Missouri 77
Recap | 29 points from Marland Smith, a double-double from A.J. Jones, and the Redhawks sending a statement, winning back-to-back games for the first time since their first two OVC games. EIU shoots 42%, wins the turnover battle, pulls down 13 offensive rebounds, but allow the Redhawks to shoot 15-26 from 3-point range.
SIU Edwardsville 68, UT Martin 77
Recap | Image Gallery | The Skyhawks are back in the OVC Tournament discussion, after their third win in four games. Myles Taylor scores 23 points, and pulls down five rebounds, coming off the bench because he was fighting the flu.
Eastern Kentucky 68, Morehead State 47
Recap | EKU holds Morehead State to 33% shooting from the field, and controlled the tempo. Morehead State now just half a game ahead of SEMO for the 5th seed in the OVC Tournament.
Belmont 78, Austin Peay 65
Recap | It wasn’t that close. Ian Clark scores 25, JJ Mann scores 26 for the Bruins, who shoot 14-34 from behind the arc, and a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line. Travis Betran did his part for the Governors, scoring 22 points on 7-11 shooting from the field.
Tennessee State 48, Murray State 69
Recap | Image Gallery | Ed Daniel and Brandon Garrett ink double-doubles, but most impressive, the Racers hold Tennessee State to sub-30% shooting. Three Tigers foul out in disjointed, whistle-heavy game.
Jacksonville State 64, Tennessee Tech 78
Recap | The Golden Eagles aren’t dead yet. Jud Dillard with yet another double-double, one of four Golden Eagles scoring in double-figures. Jacksonville State shoots 51% from the field, but can’t overcome 30-36 performance by Tennessee Tech at the free-throw line.
Three Point Shot
- SIU Edwardsville did themselves no favors this week. Their loss to UTM today means the Skyhawks hold the tiebreaker over the Cougars, who are just half a game over UT Martin for the final Tournament spot. With games against Murray State, Belmont, and Tennessee State remaining, the Cougars may need a big upset to punch their ticket to Nashville.
- I still think Eastern Illinois will be fine. Their offense is still playing much better, and a lot of teams have struggled to keep SEMO from scoring. Most teams aren’t going to make 15-threes against you.
- I generally don’t like to complain about refs, because it’s not always the refs fault. If you notice early that the refs are calling the game tight, as players and coaches, you have to adjust. But at the same time, can we let the guys play? It’s nearly unwatchable when every touch foul is called. Are they fouls? Sure. But you don’t see those called in the Big East, or B1G. (Big 10) This hurts the OVC when they play against teams from bigger conferences, because they’re no longer getting the calls they’re used to in the conference. Call the fouls that alter shots. Call the fouls that could cost a team a possession. A flick on the wrist? Keep your whistles silent. Please?
Player of the Night: Marland Smith, Southeast Missouri. One nugget not mentioned above, Smith hit nine of SEMO’s 15-three’s, tying a school record. Huge night from a guy that’s been up and down this year.
Player of the Night in a loss: Brian Williams, Jacksonville State. 22 points, five three’s, and played 39 minutes in the loss to Tennessee Tech.
Unsung Hero: Dee Oldham, UT Martin. Just 4 points from the guard, but Oldham played 32 minutes, and dished out four assists with zero turnovers. You have to love that level of ball control.
Team Trending Upwards: UT Martin. WInners of three of the last four, (Although that loss was UGLY) the Skyhawks are rolling, and have one of the easier schedules remaining among team fighting to make the OVC Tournament.
Team Trending Downards: Morehead State. The Eagles have lost three straight, and are virtually out of the race for a bye in Nashville. The question now is can they hold onto the 5-seed.