OVC Ball Statbox
|18-13 (10-6 OVC)|
|16-13 (10-6 OVC)|
|19/47 (40.4%)||Field Goals||26/51 (51.0%)|
|6/22 (27.3%)||3-Point FG||12/22 (54.5%)|
|11/21 (52.4%)||Free Throws||15/22 (68.2%)|
|24 (6/18)||Rebounds (O/D)||38 (10/28)|
|4||2nd Chance Pts||10|
|6||Points off TO||10|
|16||Pts in the Paint||20|
Tempo Tracker (Possessions)
UT Martin offense
Murray State offense
What happened: You can argue neither team had anything to play for on Saturday, as Morehead State’s win earlier in the day had set both teams OVC Tournament fate.
Someone forgot to tell the Racers…
Murray State senior Jeffrey Moss hit 8-11 from three-point range in his final home game on his way to a 33-point performance, as the Racers hit better than 54% from behind the arc in a dismantling of UT Martin.
Heading into Murray, the Skyhawks were the hottest team in the OVC, winners of eight straight games, and were coming off a division-clinching win against Tennessee State. Most of their starters played significant minutes, but UTM didn’t have an answer for the Racers shooters.
Despite the tied OVC record, UT Martin will be the No. 2 seed, as the West Division champs. Murray State will be the No. 6 seed.
UT Martin had nothing to play for, whereas Murray had a lot, if mostly symbolic: It was senior night, the Racers had lost in Martin earlier in the season, and a win secures the Racers yet another winning season, keeping the more than two-decade streak alive.
Win or lose, UTM is in a much better position than the Racers — needing only a pair of wins on back-to-back days, compared to four-in-four for Murray.
It’s worth remembering, this performance is somewhat representative of the Skyhawks back in early January, when their offense was hit or miss, and their defense much weaker than we’ve seen in recent weeks. And their free-throw performance? 11-21 (52.4%) does not a champion make.
But still, it’s probably nothing.
Round 3 between UTM and Murray could loom in the semifinals.
Player of the Night: Jacolby Mobley had a 15-point performance off the bench, which was a nice number on a night the offense generally stalled.
What’s Next: The waiting begins. UT Martin will get either Eastern Illinois, Murray State, or Morehead State on Friday night in Nashville.
But past that, this win also probably means nothing. The Racers are still in the unenviable position of having to play on Wednesday in the OVC Tournament, and although their path is littered with teams they’ve beaten at least once, (1-1 against EIU, 1-0 against Morehead State, and 1-1 against UT Martin) none of those games are exactly locks for the Racers.
It was good to see the three-pointers falling for Moss. If that’s the beginning of a trend, and not the exception, the Racers may have better than even odds to get a few wins in Nashville.
Player of the Night: How can you not pick Moss here? He even had four assists to go with his 33 points.
What’s Next: Unfamiliar territory — a Wednesday night matchup in Nashville with Eastern Illinois in the 5/6 game.