No real way to spin Sunday, it wasn’t a very good day for the OVC.
Youngstown State 75, Eastern Kentucky 67
An 18-1 first half run by Youngstown State proved too much to overcome for the Colonels. EKU struggles from the field, hitting 35% of their shots, and once again were pounded on the boards by the Penguins. Our Eric Stutz watch continues, as the injured forward scores 10 points in 20 minutes off the bench.
Jacksonville State 62, Illinois 86
When you shoot 33%, and your opponents shoot 55%, this is the kind of final score that happens. The JSU defense forces just five Illini turnovers, and the offense couldn’t even hit from the free throw line, going just 12-23. The gaudy 25 offensive rebounds were nice, even if it were off of 43 misses.
UT Martin 65, Colorado 91
Much like the Jacksonville State game described above, only substitute 35% and 59% shooting. UT Martin actually shot better from behind the arc (12-29, 41%) than from inside it. (10-34, 29%) While the Skyhawks couldn’t keep shots from falling, the forced an impressive 18 turnovers, while committing just 12, but were drubbed on the boards.
Three Point Shot
- Today (and this first weekend in general, actually) has been a bit of a reality check for the conference as a whole, and as I feared, it’s a regression. The league lost a ton of talent from last season, and hasn’t yet show they have the talent this year to replace it. The OVC shouldn’t fall back completely through the mid-major ranks, but the word “two-bid” likely won’t even be uttered from this point onward.
- Is Stutz healthy or not? It seems like if he’s injured, then you’re just playing with fire with these 20 minute stints. But if he’s able to go 20 minutes, can he not go 30, and start and give your team a much needed presence on the inside? The Colonels have a few days off, and while I think he’ll be ready to go when EKU returns to the floor Wednesday, I’ve given up trying to figure out what this team is doing right now.
- I’ve harped on UTM players stepping up on offense with Myles Taylor out, so let me give the guards props for doing so, even in a lopsided loss against Colorado. Now if the forwards, who combines for seven points against a much larger Colorado team, could join in, the Skyhawks could really be a challenge for opposing defenses.
Player of the Night (in a loss, since everyone lost): Marshun Newell, UT Martin. This is a tough one, honestly, as no one had an overly impressive night. But Newell is a name you might want to get to know. The JUCO transfer has been solid in his first two games with the Skyhawks, averaging 14.5 points a game. He provides UTM with a much needed-three point threat, and had six assists to go along with his 15 points in the lopsided loss to Colorado.
Unsung Hero: Glenn Cosey, EKU. Cosey had a terrible night shooting, but proved he can become a more all-around guard. The senior scored 12 points (on 2-11 shooting) but added five assists and three steals, playing all 40 minutes in the loss to the Penguins.
Team Trending Upwards: UT Martin. They lost to a good Colorado team, but if this team can shoot three’s on a good clip, a major weaknesses throughout much of last season, it could really help stretch defenses that like to pack it in against Taylor. (When he returns)
Team Trending Downwards: Eastern Kentucky. There’s nothing that’s happened this weekend that makes them any less of a conference favorite. But the rebounding is a major concern, as I don’t see this team making waves nationally like we’ve seen with past OVC champions.