Today was a bit more like it. The OVC nearly gets the sweep, although the night’s only loser is starting to concern me a little bit.
Morehead State 71, East Tennessee State 63
Are the fouling Eagles a thing of the past? No, not yet. Morehead State commits 24 fouls, and overcomes a 36% night shooting thanks in part to 20 offensive rebounds to topple ETSU on the road. Angelo Warner has a huge night, scoring a game and career high 25 points in the win. The Eagles hit nearly as well from behind the arc as inside of it, hitting nine threes on the night.
Jacksonville State 75, Chicago State 79
After falling behind by 17 points in the first half, the Gamecocks at least made things interesting. A horrible night defensively for Jacksonville State, as the Cougars shoot 49% from the field, and 45% from three-point range. JSU with zero answers inside as Chicago State’s starting forwards combined for 53 points. The Gamecocks were 11-21 from behind the arc themselves, but can’t overcome the defensive woes.
Loyola (Ill.) 69, Tennessee Tech 74
Head coach Steve Payne told me at media day he thought his team would be better all-around on offense. Tonight proved him right. Four Golden Eagles score in double figures, as 11 get into the scoring column in the win. TTU’s defense wasn’t good, as Loyola hits 51% from the field, but a 39-25 edge on the boards was key in the win. Dennis Ogbe leads the way with 13 points and 9 rebounds.
Brescia 69, Murray State 97
The Racers guards seemingly all had a big night in their home opener. Jeffery Moss leads the way with 21 points, Dexter Fields adds 20, and C.J. Ford adds 15 off the bench for the shorthanded squad. Murray hits 60% from the field, but does turnover the ball 14 times.
Three Point Shot
- You may be as sick about hearing about the new foul rules as I am typing about them, but tonight was pretty clear on all fronts. Morehead State’s 24 was the most for OVC teams, although Brescia had 25 in their loss to Murray. Most teams were in the 20 to 22, and a lot of the contests were close at the end, so the numbers seem pretty close to the norm.
- With the exception of the Murray game, every OVC opponent was out shot by their opponent, yet two still pulled out victories. Both of those teams won the battle on the glass. Jacksonville State didn’t. Rebounding is important.
- A non-OVC thought: How great was the Champions Classic tonight? After looking completely outclassed early, Kentucky fought back to nearly topple Michigan State. And as of this writing, Duke and Kansas are in a tie game with 4:49 to go. Four of the top teams five teams playing each other just a few nights into the year? This needs to happen forever and always. Hopefully the TV ratings make ESPN think the same thing.
Player of the Night: Angelo Warner, Morehead State. I mentioned his career high scoring night above, but I didn’t mention that he also finished with a double-double: 25 points, 10 rebounds. Oh, and go ahead and throw in a pair of assists as well. He was a really good player last year, and it’s clear he’s only gotten better over the summer.
Player of the Night in a loss: Brian Williams, Jacksonville State. Both he and Darion Rackley scored 23 points, but Williams came not only came off the bench but ended up playing 37 minutes in the loss.
Unsung Hero: Ladon Carter, Tennessee Tech. Carter played just 15 minutes off the bench, but tallied 12 points on 6-7 shooting, and pulled down 7 rebounds. That’s a pretty good night, and I’m surprised he didn’t get more minutes as a result.
Teams Trending Upwards: Morehead State and Tennessee Tech. Both get good wins, both are showing they can score and rebound. Neither did all that well on defense, though, but all-in-all, it’s an encouraging night.
Team Trending Downwards: Jacksonville State. Based on history, Chicago State is not a good team. Maybe they’re a lot better this year, time will tell on that. But this isn’t a good loss, even on the road, and the Gamecocks, called a ‘dark horse’ by multiple coaches at OVC media day, are off to an 0-3 start. And worse, their defense, which is their calling card, isn’t good right now.