What you need to know from Tuesday’s night action in the OVC:
Southeast Missouri 61, Missouri 65
Middle Tennessee 59, Belmont 63
Hampton 62, Tennessee State 54
The Need To Know
Southeast Missouri should have won at Mizzou:
But they couldn’t hit free-throws. I wrote more about it here. The short version: 5-14 doesn’t cut it. Ever.
Tennessee State loses ugly:
Really, really ugly. Tennessee State shot 31.5% from the floor. Hampton shot 30.4% from the floor. Hampton won by eight, in a nip-and-tuck game throughout. It’s the only reason this game was the least bit watchable. You’re encouraged by three TSU close calls as of late, but you also realize that Tennessee State could have realistically won their last three games, and are instead 1-6. Give ’em time. But it wouldn’t hurt if they took advantage of some of these opportunities now.
Bradshaw cools off:
After averaging 33 points a game last week, Belmont’s Craig Bradshaw has his toughest game in awhile, hitting just 4-15 from the field. Belmont, as a whole, couldn’t hit shots inside the three-point arc, but were 9-20 from outside it. Murray fans would probably be boasting about how they dominated Middle Tennessee at MTSU, and Belmont squeaked by at home…that is, if the Racers weren’t coming off a dreadful weekend in Nashville.
The Top 3
01Evan Bradds, Belmont
The Bruins struggled to score the final eight minutes, held to just 10 points. Bradds provided six: a layup, and four free-throws. When Belmont’s offense fell stagnant, it was Bradds who did just enough to keep Belmont on top.
02Isiah Jones, Southeast Missouri
The junior guard played 15 minutes off the bench tonight, and scored just nine points. All that damage was done from behind the three-point arc, including one in the final minute that put SEMO within two. (Sadly, Missouri responded with a ridiculous three on their next possession to put the Redhawks away)
03Nick Smith, Belmont
Smith entered tonight’s game averaging about seven points a game, playing about 18 minutes a contest. Tonight, he played 25, and doubled his scoring average, finishing with a game-tying high 15 points, and hit all three of his three-point attempts.
The Closing Thought
Seriously, SEMO. You cannot take enough free-throws in practice tomorrow. It’s physically impossible to do so.