OVC Ball Statbox
|14-12 (5-6 OVC)|
|17-8 (9-2 OVC)|
|31/57 (54.4%)||Field Goals||27/65 (41.5%)|
|10/22 (45.5%)||3-Point FG||14/42 (33.3%)|
|16/23 (69.6%)||Free Throws||10/12 (83.3%)|
|34 (7/27)||Rebounds (O/D)||34 (12/22)|
|7||2nd Chance Pts||14|
|17||Points off TO||15|
|38||Pts in the Paint||26|
Tempo Tracker (Possessions)
Eastern Kentucky offense
What happened: I didn’t even entirely believe this stat — so I looked it up. EKU just handed Belmont their first ever OVC home loss. It’s Belmont’s fourth year in the league!
Whatever mojo the Colonels had offensively in November and December, and that they lost in January, seems to be back. The Colonels hit 54% from the field, 10-22 from three-point range, and as teams have done often against the Bruins this year — got to the free-throw line.
The Bruins are making a bad habit of taking a lot of three’s…and losing. The Bruins took 42 three-point attempts in Saturday’s loss (14-42, 33.3%) and 45 attempts against Tennessee Tech (17-45, 37.8%)
What it means: Two straight wins have moved EKU out of last place in the East, and into an OVC Tournament spot. (For now.) With head-to-head wins over Austin Peay and Jacksonville State, the Colonels have what is effectively a two-game lead over both for that final spot.
A single-bye, though, is probably too far out of reach. The Colonels are three games back of Tennessee State in the loss column, with five to play. EKU plays TSU once over those five games.
In the bigger picture, are the Colonels peaking at the right time? They were able to maintain this level of shooting earlier this season for about six weeks, before a drop-off. (Although much of that was against low-level Division I teams.) Winning four straight in Nashville is probably a stretch, but the Colonels are showing they aren’t to be taken lightly as we enter the season’s stretch run.
Player of the night: Javontae Hawkins scored a game-high 24 points, but he did need 18 field goal attempts to get there. His rebounding was a nice boost as well, pulling down three of EKU’s seven offensive boards.
What’s next: On a two-game win streak, the Colonels travel to take on the team that last beat them, Morehead State.
…no, really. This isn’t a new thing. Remember their loss at EIU last year? 45 three point attempts. Doesn’t matter how open they are — Belmont’s probably not hitting 20 three’s in a game. History tells us this. More three point attempts does not equal wins.
It also makes the East, and the OVC regular season “title” as a whole, a lot more interesting. Now, Tennessee State would like a word again for the division crown, just one game back of the Bruins and Golden Eagles in the loss column. A lot to play for down the stretch for the Bruins.
Player of the night: Craig Bradshaw led in points, Evan Bradds led in rebounds, but we’re always talking about those two. So instead I’m going to point out that Taylor Barnette had four assists and zero turnovers, and that somehow Kevin McClain fouled out in 15 minutes on the floor.
What’s next: Belmont’s final two games of the season? Hosting Tennessee Tech, and playing at Tennessee Stat. They get Jacksonville State next, though, before making the dreaded ‘Death Valley’ road swing — albeit on a Saturday and then Thursday night. Normally, those two games in a row are a two-night, one-trip kind of deal.