It wasn’t a good night for the OVC. Tennessee Tech and Murray State both were unable to hold onto early leads, UT Martin sleepwalks through the first half of their early tip, and Morehead State struggled mightily on the road.
Rochester College (MI) 64, UT Martin 79
It took the Skyhawks a half to wake up for their 11 a.m. tip, but the Skyhawks pulled away late against the NAIA squad to get their first win of the season. Myles Taylor came up with a team-high 20 points in his first action this season, coming off the bench for 20 minutes. Marshun Newell struggled from the field, but still finished with 14 points thanks to 10-10 shooting from the charity stripe. It wasn’t the most impressive showing, but it’s a win as the Skyhawks continue to return to full strength.
Tennessee Tech 78, Texas Pan-American 81
A half-court shot at the buzzer falls for the Broncos, as the WAC continues to remain perfect on the year against the OVC. The Golden Eagles hold Texas Pan-American to 42% shooting from the field, but 24-27 free-throw shooting from the Broncos was too much to overcome. Ladon Carter has another impressive performance off the bench, leading TTU with 17 points and five rebounds. Ty Allen added 16, as Jeremiah Samarrippas and Matt Marseille also finish in double-figures.
Murray State 60, Old Dominion 70
MAKE A FREE THROW! Murray State shoots 7-18 from the charity stripe, as they give up a seven-point halftime lead to the Monarchs. The Racers also struggled with fouls once again, as four players finish the game with four fouls. Jonathan Fairell has an especially rough night, playing just 17 minutes due to foul trouble throughout. Murrqay coughed up 16 turnovers. and were edged on the boards. Still though, if they made their free throws this is likely a dramatically different game down the stretch.
Morehead State 56, Xavier 79
Hey, there’s the ol’ foul-happy Eagles we came to know and love last season. (Or know…at least) Morehead State has a miserable night on the offensive end, hitting just 29% from the field. Chad Posthumus has a big night off the bench, finishing with a game high 12 points and 12 rebounds. Not a whole lot of positives as the Eagles are handed their first loss of the year.
Three Point Shot
- Welcome back Myles! I’m sure Jason James was hoping to use his star forward in mostly mop-up work in his first game back from injury, but a slow start by the Skyhawks likely took away that option. Taylor’s importance to this team was evident before today, although this game was a pretty good reminder.
- Every team seems to be struggling with fouls, but it’s been an especially bad problem for the Racers in their two games against Division I opponents. Given their short bench, if there’s any team that needs to stay out of foul trouble, this is that team. I know that every coach hates the thought of this, but sometimes it’s best to let the other team have a basket, especially if your guy is beat. Sometimes, it’s best to live to fight another play.
- You know what I get for making fun of the WAC in multiple First Word’s the season? The WAC, made up of teams I’ve barely heard of, are 3-0 against the OVC this season after tonight. So, you can blame me, Tennessee Tech, for tonight’s loss. It’s all on my shoulders.
Player of the Night: Myles Taylor, UT Martin. No other choice really. 9-15 shooting, and 20 points in 20 minutes in his first night back from injury, on a night there just weren’t a lot of great individual performances.
Player of the Night in a loss: Chad Posthumus. While the Eagles had a miserable night, Posthumus posts a double-double from the bench.
Unsung Hero: Tyler Rambo, Murray State. Last season, Rambo played fewer than seven minutes a game for the Racers. This season, he’s had to play many more, including 27 tonight in the loss. Oh, and he did it while just picking up one foul. That’s impressive enough on another whistle-filled contest for Murray.
Team Trending Upwards: UT Martin. It has nothing to do with their play today, which wasn’t that great. But Taylor is back, and that’s a huge boon for the Skyhawks.
Team Trending Downwards: Murray State. Between the fouls, the inability to make free-throws I just don’t know about this team’s prospects right now. They’re athletic enough to play with anyone, but they’re not playing smart basketball right now. They’re young, so some growing pains are expected, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they continued for at least the next few weeks.