Morehead State isn’t just looking to make the OVC Tournament, they’re looking to win the conference. They’re off to a 2-0 start after a 85-77 win over Eastern Illinois, but you’d be hard pressed to call either win against seemingly weaker teams “impressive.”
So is this team truly a contender for the OVC crown?
You can go over all the tropes: A win’s a win, it’s hard to win on the road, this is the longest road trip of the year. They may be comforting, but they’ll ultimately empty.
Much like at SIU Edwardsville on Thursday, Morehead State fell behind to the Panthers early, needing a run in the middle of the first half to take the lead. Once again, the Eagles got into serious foul trouble during the second half. And Morehead State hit just 1-12 from three point range today, while allowing 46 points in the paint to the Panthers.
Does that really sound like a champion contender?
Especially when you consider they were facing a team ranked 319th in the RPI.
On the plus side, Morehead State forced 20 EIU turnovers, but only managed 23 points off of them. Their pressure also allowed numerous EIU run outs when the Panthers were able to break the pressure. Another positive: the Eagles also hit free-throws down the stretch to seal the win.
The Eagles get a week off before hosting Eastern Kentucky, and a win there changes everything. But right now, today, if I’m picking conference contenders, Morehead State doesn’t get a mention. Not if this is the performance we can expect on the road.