OVC Ball Statbox
|12-10 (6-4 OVC)|
|17-7 (9-1 OVC)|
|24/61 (39.3%)||Field Goals||25/44 (56.8%)|
|6/18 (33.3%)||3-Point FG||8/20 (40.0%)|
|13/16 (81.3%)||Free Throws||15/27 (55.6%)|
|32 (13/19)||Rebounds (O/D)||32 (6/26)|
|10||2nd Chance Pts||8|
|6||Points off TO||10|
|22||Pts in the Paint||34|
Tempo Tracker (Possessions)
Morehead State offense
What happened: Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Fouls and poor shooting cost Morehead State.
Of course, Belmont did their part to keep the final score close. The Bruins got to the line with ease on a night their offense was efficient, but hit just 15-27 (55.6%) from the charity stripe which helped keep the Eagles in it throughout.
The Bruins went on a late first-half run to go into the locker room up nine, shooting 66.7% from the field in the first half. From there both teams really locked down defensively in a low scoring second-half: The Bruins hit just nine second half field goals, Morehead State hit 11.
As we’ve seen throughout the season, (four seasons really) the Eagles were able to crash the glass to make up an okay shooting performance. The Eagles also forced 15 Belmont turnovers, but only converted them into six points.
What it means: Thanks to Tennessee State’s loss, the Eagles are still just a game back in the loss column of the Tigers for the four-seed, and a single-bye in the OVC Tournament. But that space is getting more crowded: Both Murray State and EIU have four losses as well — but with one matchup remaining between those two teams, one will have to fall to five losses. It means TSU is still in control of their fate when it comes to getting a single bye in Nashville. Now three losses behind the Bruins, they’ll need a lot of help if they have any chance to win the East.
There’s still a lot of basketball to play this season, but the Eagles seem to be falling into the same trap they’ve fallen into in past seasons: they are their own worst enemy because of the fouls. Surviving a three-game stretch in Nashville, where the games are often tight, when they consistently send their opponents to the free-throw line more would be tough. Winning four straight? It’s not impossible, but it is highly improbable. They need a bye.
Player of the Night: Corban Collins wasn’t the most efficient scorer on the floor, but he led all scorers with a 20-point performance, hitting 4-8 from behind the arc.
What’s next: The Eagles stay in Nashville with a huge game against Tennessee State. A loss would almost certainly relegate the Eagles to playing on the OVC Tournament’s opening day.
What it means: The Bruins have one goal for the remainder of the season: win the East Division. After the disappointing loss to Tennessee Tech, the Bruins mostly bounced back despite a sub-par night from the free-throw line. Bruins fans probably would have liked to see an easier win, but Morehead State isn’t a pushover — after all, even with the loss the Eagles are 6-4 in conference play.
What’s good to see is the Bruins won were efficient behind the three point arc, hitting 8-20, (40%) after their 45 attempts in a loss to Tennessee Tech.
Player of the Night: It was a night of balanced scoring for the Bruins, so I’m going to go with the only bench player to hit double digit scoring. Mack Mercer scored 10 points in just 12 minutes of play, and added five rebounds in his short spans on the floor.
What’s next: Expect a shootout as Eastern Kentucky brings their (often) high-powered offense into the Curb.