ETSU 63, Morehead State 59
Today’s Games[7 p.m.] Middle Tennessee at Belmont (American Sports Network)
[7 p.m.] Hampton at Tennessee State
[7 p.m.] Southeast Missouri at Missouri (OVC Digital / ESPN3)
The OVC’s struggles against zone defenses was on display again last night, as Morehead State struggled to mount any kind of offense in their loss at home against ETSU. One major note, though: The Eagles were without Kareem Storey, who is leading the OVC in assists, and just the kind of guy you need against a solid defense. But the bigger issue, in my eyes, is the foul situation. Again.
I went back and looked at the boxscore, and ETSU had 20 more free-throw attempts than the Eagles. Nine of those free-throws came within the final 1:15, as Morehead was trying to extend the game, down late. But even if you take those out, ETSU shot 11 more free-throws than Morehead State, a trend which is now full-blown in it’s third year. Morehead State’s defense played really well in this game. If they don’t sent ETSU to the line as often as they did, they probably get out with a win even though the Eagles shot just 37.7% from the field.
In his post-game comments, Woods noted that his team has been hit especially hard by the injury bug this year, saying the only game they were at full strength was their win at Marshall.
Today’s games are an interesting slate. Belmont is a solid nine-point favorite at home against MTSU, SEMO is just a nine-point underdog at Mizzou, and Tennessee State, as well as they played in New York this past weekend, could have a real chance of being Hampton tonight on their home court.
We saw what Murray State did to MTSU a few weeks ago, so there’s no doubt comparisons are going to be drawn to Belmont’s performance against the Blue Raiders. But I’m really curious to see how SEMO plays tonight. The Tigers have played a tough schedule, and struggled against it. But this team also beat Valparaiso by 15, the same Valpo team that ripped apart Murray in Nashville this past weekend. But I also kind of get the feeling that SEMO hasn’t figured things out on their end this year. Their offense hasn’t been on the same level as we’re used to seeing, but this may be the best defense Dickey Nutt has had since coming to Cape. Missouri may be an SEC team — but they’re not a “big” team, and I’m curious to see if SEMO can be in a game in the second half against them.
This kind of fell through the cracks yesterday (my bad) but Fox Sports Midwest has announced their SIUE coverage for this season. In all, it’s nine games, starting tomorrow as SIUE hosts the mothership in SIU, and includes five home conference games. Here’s the complete list:
|Wednesday||12/3||SIU Carbondale||7 p.m.|
|Saturday||12/13||at Saint Louis||6 p.m.|
|Monday||12/22||Chicago State||7 p.m.|
|Saturday||1/3||Tennessee Tech||6:30 p.m.|
|Thursday||1/22||Austin Peay||7 p.m.|
|Saturday||1/24||Murray State||7 p.m.|
|Saturday||2/14||Eastern Illinois||7 p.m.|
|Thursday||2/19||Southeast Missouri||7 p.m.|
I’ve said it before, but if you’re taking wagers on the next OVC team to leave the conference, I present the frontrunners. No other OVC team is getting this kind of solo television deal, and this is hugely lucrative for conferences. (Belmont / TSU don’t have similar deals with Fox Sports South, for instance, despite their base in Nashville.) I don’t want to see SIUE leave — but I wouldn’t be surprised if they get a few offers by 2020 to head to greener pastures. (*cough* MVC *cough)