OVC Ball Statbox
|12-11 (6-4 OVC)|
|5-18 (2-8 OVC)|
|30/52 (57.7%)||Field Goals||26/53 (49.1%)|
|12/27 (44.4%)||3-Point FG||8/16 (50.0%)|
|6/9 (66.7%)||Free Throws||12/14 (85.7%)|
|28 (4/24)||Rebounds (O/D)||25 (5/20)|
|3||2nd Chance Pts||11|
|23||Points off TO||16|
|28||Pts in the Paint||26|
Tempo Tracker (Possessions)
Murray State offense
Southeast Missouri offense
What happened: It wasn’t a fast paced affair, but both teams showed off efficient offense in a nationally televised game, and got big performances from their stars. SEMO’s Antonius Cleveland scored 22 points despite not making a three pointer, but Racers senior Jeffery Moss scored a game-high 26, hitting 7-11 from three-point range to help push Murray State over the top.
Murray led by as many as 18 early in the second half — following an early second-half barrage of three’s from Moss and the Racers. The Redhawks clawed all the way back to a three-point game on three occasions in the final six minutes, but never held a lead in the loss.
The Racers have now won four of the last five games as they enter a very important stretch run.
What this means: The Racers are back in their natural position — atop the West Division, or at least, in a tie with Eastern Illinois. Those two have one game remaining, in Charleston, in the final week of the season, where a double-bye could be (read: likely will be) on the line.
On paper — the win keeps the Racers one game behind Tennessee State (thanks to their loss to Eastern Kentucky) for the fourth seed and a single-bye, but in reality, the Racers aren’t in great position. If the Racers lose the division, that would mean at least one more Murray State loss. They’ll need help — at least three TSU losses (because the Tigers won the head-to-head, and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker) and a Morehead State loss — if EIU wrangles away the West Division.
They are back above .500, if that’s a thing that interests you.
It’s good to see their offense perform so well — it’s been far too inconsistent throughout this season.
Player of the night: Moss hasn’t had the best season shooting wise, but that wasn’t an issue in Cape Girardeau. Not only did he put up 26 points, but he tied for the game-high in rebounds with seven.
What’s next: The Racers rivals, Austin Peay, heads to ‘The Bank’ Saturday.
What this means: The Redhawks long-shot odds of backdooring their way into the OVC Tournament are even slimmer. But, the Redhawks have consistently shown improvement over the last few games, which is promising for the team’s future under new head coach Rick Ray.
If nothing else, the past week should put the rest of the West Division on notice that the Redhawks are better than their record would show.
Player of the Night: Cleveland deserves the nod with his 22 point, seven rebound performance, but I’d be remiss not to mention the night Eric McGill (pictured above) had off the bench, scoring a season-high 20 points on a perfect 6-6 night from three-point range. The freshman has been in-and-out of the starting lineup this year, but has shown a lot of talent that could really shine with some more experience.
What’s next: SEMO travels to Eastern Illinois…for an 11 a.m. start on Saturday.