I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to do this again. Last year, I made fun of Eastern Illinois mercilessly for weeks after they lost to a non-Division I team on their home floor. I didn’t think it to be possible, but they may have actually done something even worse this year: They were beat by a girl from their own school.
Yep, Girls rule.
Evansville 63, Murray State 65
This isn’t the win of the year, but for the Racers, this is a win they really needed. Murray State misses three of four free-throws down the stretch, but a open-look for three misses in the final seconds to give the Racers their first win over a Division I opponent this season. The Racers turned over the ball just three times in the second half (compared with 10 in the first) and hit a season-high 10 three’s on the night. Jarvis Williams was a beast on the boards, pulling down 16 rebounds in the win.
UT Martin 89, Samford 73
Speaking of good wins, the Skyhawks get their first win over a Division I opponent this season, beating down former OVC foe Samford on the road. UT Martin shoots 60% from the field, led by 16 from Mike Liabo off the bench, just one of six Skyhawks in double-figures. UTM combines for 11 steals is a solid defensive effort as well. Just an all-around good win.
East Tennessee State 79, Austin Peay 74
The goal of going undefeated in December has been derailed on game number one. Travis Betran has a solid night, scoring 20 points for the Governors, and Chris Horton added 13 points and 9 rebounds in the loss. Austin Peay needed two mini-runs in the second half as the Buccaneers tried to pull away.
Morehead State 60, Southern Miss 74
You know what happens when you take a turnover-prone offense and face them against a quality defense? 24 turnovers happen. Morehead State controls the glass, shoots equally well at the Golden Eagles, but those pesky turnovers combined with 48% free-throw shooting cause Morehead State’s downfall against their former coach. Angelo Warner did score 20 on the night, but was responsible for 7 of the Eagles turnovers.
Eastern Illinois 32, Western Illinois 60
That is not a typo. Eastern Illinois scored 32 points. 32. For the entire game. Josh Piper leads the way with 5 points, as the Panthers shoot a whopping 24% from the floor.
That’s bad. But it’s about to get worse.
Eastern Illinois’ women’s team took on Bradley tonight, a game they won 71-67, thanks in part to 38 points from Sabina Orosova, tying the school record for points and field goal attempts in a day. So while the men’s team can’t scrape together more than 32 points, a singular women’s player from their own school scores 38 tonight.
I’m not in any way making fun of Orosova, or women’s basketball here. But this shouldn’t happen…EVER!
Poor shooting is one thing, but EIU also failed to get to the line, and committed 19 turnovers in the loss.
Player of the Night: Sabina Orosova, Eastern Illinois. She outscored the entire men’s team! There’s no room for debate here.
Player of the Night in a loss: Chad Posthumus, Morehead State. 16 points, 15 rebounds as he continues to raise his rebounding average about 13 a contest. The one thing you generally don’t expect when a mid-major faces a major conference school is for the smaller school to control the glass, but that’s exactly what happened tonight.
Unsung Hero: Dee Oldham, UT Martin. In the recaps, I talked about the Skyhawks defense. Oldham was responsible for four of UTM’s 11 steals, and also scored 10 points in the Skyhawks win.
Team Trending Upwards: UT Martin. I almost put Murray State here, but this was a game they should have won at home, and they barely did. (Although I was highly impressed their ability to answer each and every time Evansville took a lead) But the Skyhawks won impressively on the road, and it seems, maybe, we’re finally seeing the potential this team was expected to show.
Team Trending Downwards: Eastern Illinois. 32 Points! 32!