OVC Ball Statbox
|(3) Morehead State||37||33||70|
|19-12 (11-5 OVC)|
|(2) UT Martin||40||43||83|
|19-13 (10-6 OVC)|
|25/70 (35.7%)||Field Goals||26/46 (56.5%)|
|10/29 (34.5%)||3-Point FG||7/21 (33.3%)|
|10/13 (76.9%)||Free Throws||24/35 (68.6%)|
|30 (13/17)||Rebounds (O/D)||42 (7/35)|
|14||2nd Chance Pts||9|
|12||Points off TO||11|
|26||Pts in the Paint||30|
Tempo Tracker (Possessions)
(3) Morehead State offense
(2) UT Martin offense
What Happened: Sometimes, basketball can be a simple sport: One team missed shots. The other team made shots. This time, there were no surprises.
UT Martin shot 66.7% in the first half, and 26-46 (56.5%) for the game, as they pulled away late to beat Morehead State 83-70. The Eagles offense struggled to get rolling, as Morehead State hit just 25-70 (35.7%) from the field in the loss.
The Skyhawks shooting in the first half was marred by 11 UTM turnovers, keeping Morehead State within three at the half. But the turnover problem was fixed in the second half, and the Eagles struggled with untimely fouls.
Corban Collins played in his first game for the Eagles since February 13th due to injury, and hit 4-6 from three-point range in 18 minutes on the floor. For much of the game, Morehead State was shooting better from deep than inside, and finished the game nearly even between the two.
Jacolby Mobley and Twymond Howard led the Skyhawks with 22 and 21 points, respectively. Howard also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
UT Martin will play Saturday in their first ever Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship.
What it means: Sean Woods accomplished one goal this season — beating Murray State but fell just short of making his first OVC conference title game. But the program continues to maintain a high level of success year after year under Woods, and he’s one of a few coaches who can say he’s won at least one conference tournament game each of the last four years.
Every team has that ‘what could have been’ moment, and for the Eagles, Collins’ injury is a big “What if?” He didn’t appear at 100% tonight, but gave Morehead State offense a much needed boost when he was in the game.
To some extent, I do feel there’s a little bit of “same ol’, same ol'” with the Eagles, as their aggressive style seems to always be a burden in tournament season. I don’t expect Woods to change his, or his team’s mentality, but a few tweaks here or there after four seasons of struggling with the same issues wouldn’t be out of the question, either.
Player of the Night: Collins had the biggest impact in a short span. Lyonell Gaines was solid as well, finishing with 10 points and seven rebounds.
What’s Next: Season’s not over. A CBI or CIT bid is almost certainly in the cards.
What it means: With all the excitement surrounding what Austin Peay had done over the past three days, UT Martin’s accomplishment — first ever OVC Tournament title game — is a bit overshadowed.
But as head coach Heath Schroyer pointed out, this is a program that has only had three winning seasons in 22 years. What he has done in two years in Martin is nothing short of spectacular.
UT Martin has to be feeling good about their chances to create more history: their first ever NCAA Tournament. Austin Peay has not just played three games in three days — they just came off an overtime thriller that had to take a lot out of them.
But we’ve seen UTM be, at times, quite inconsistent. If they show up like they did tonight, they have the talent to beat anyone in the league. When they’re off — it can sometimes be quite ugly.
…but it’s the title game. There should be no lack of motivation for the Skyhawks to put their best foot forward.
Player of the Night: Howard was the star we’ve come to expect. 21 points on 9-12 shooting is a spectacular stat line.
What’s Next: 40 minutes for One Shining Moment