OVC teams had success in early season tournaments last week as Belmont finished third at the Great Alaska Shootout while Jacksonville State took home the title in the early bracket at the Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas and Austin Peay was third in the Mayan Division at the Cancun Challenge…Belmont topped host Alaska Anchorage and lost to Northeastern before rebounding to top Oral Roberts…Jacksonville State topped Northern Arizona and North Carolina A&T in Vegas while Austin Peay split games with Western Carolina and Gardner-Webb in Cancun…Eastern Kentucky is now the only OVC team to be undefeated on the season, starting the year 5-0 (the best start for the program since 2004-05)…Belmont, Murray State and Tennessee Tech each have just one loss on the season…Murray State continues to receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today Top 25 polls…This season marks the first of divisional play in the OVC and so far teams in the East have outperformed teams in the West three weeks into the year; five of the six teams in the East having winning records and the division is 17-11 overall while only one team in the West is over .500 and the division has a combined 15-19 record.
Belmont’s Clark and Noack Named to All-Tournament Team at Great Alaska Shootout: Belmont senior guard Ian Clark and senior forward Trevor Noack were named to the Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team after leading his team to a third-place finish in the event. In the three games Clark averaged 16.3 points, 3.7 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals/game while hitting 51.6 percent (16-of-31) from the field and 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from 3-point range. In the Bruins win over host Alaska Anchorage he scored 14 points, dished out five assists and held UAA’s leading scorer to just two field goals in 40 minutes. In the semifinal loss to Northeastern, Clark set a record in the 35-year old history of the Great Alaska Shootout by connecting on 9-of-11 (81.8) 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 29 points. In a third-place victory over Oral Roberts, Clark struggled offensively but limited ORU’s top player (who entered the game averaged 24.0 points/game) to a season-low three points in 30 minutes of play. Noack averaged 13.7 points and 5.3 rebounds/game in scoring double figures in each game. He had 15 against each Alaska Anchorage and Oral Roberts and 11 against Northeastern. It marks the second-straight year an OVC player has been named to the event’s All-Tournament Team (Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan earned the honors last year).
Murray State Receiving Votes in Top 25: Murray State (4-1) continues to receive votes in both national Top 25 polls. The Racers picked up 13 points in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 5 points in the Associated Press Top 25. Belmont received votes in the coaches poll on Nov. 19 following its win at Stanford but is no longer receiving votes in that poll.
Murray State, Belmont Ranked in CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll: Last week (this week’s rankings have not been released yet) Murray State was ranked No. 4 and Belmont No. 5 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll. Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee Tech were among the other schools receiving votes in that poll. Murray State received one of the 31 first-place votes in the poll; Creighton was ranked first and received 26 first place votes while Gonzaga received the other four first place votes. Murray State finished the 2011-12 season ranked No. 1 in the poll, holding that spot for the final 12 weeks of the season. MSU was the first OVC team to ever be ranked No. 1 in the poll. Now in its 14th season, the Mid-Major poll is made up of team’s from the following conferences: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Great West, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt, WAC and West Coast. It is voted upon by coaches from those conferences, with one coach per conference casting a vote (Eastern Kentucky’s Jeff Neubauer is the OVC representative).
NCAA Statistical Leaders: In the first set of NCAA statistical leaders released on Nov. 26, Belmont ranks sixth nationally in 3-point percentage (45.2%) and 10th in turnover margin (+7.0/game), Murray State is eighth in 3-pointers made/game (9.8), Eastern Kentucky is fifth in turnover margin (+8.0/game) while Southeast Missouri State is ninth in field goal percentage defense (34.1%). Individually Belmont’s Ian Clark is third in 3-pointers made/game (4.17) while Tennessee Tech’s Jud Dillard is 11th in scoring (23.3 points/game). Morehead State’s Milton Chavis is 10th in steals (3.0/game) while Tennessee State’s Patrick Miller is 12th in assists (6.7/game). Murray State’s Ed Daniel and Southeast Missouri’s Tyler Stone are tied for eighth in double-doubles (3).
OVC One of Just 9 Conferences (3 Non-BCS) to Win NCAA Tournament Games in Each of Past Four Seasons: The OVC is one of just nine (9) Division I conferences to win a NCAA Tournament game in each of the past four years and one of just three non-BCS conferences to achieve the feat. The other non-BCS leagues to win a game in each of the last three years are the Atlantic 10 and West Coast Conferences. The ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-10/12 and SEC are the BCS-level conferences that have won at least one game in each of the past three years.
More on NCAA Success: The four-year winning streak in NCAA Tournament play is unprecedented in OVC history. After winning NCAA Tournament games in each 1987, 1988 and 1989, the OVC went 20 years without a NCAA victory. That changed in 2009 when Morehead State topped Alabama State 58-43 in front of a record crowd at the Opening Round game in Dayton, Ohio. A year later it was No. 13 seed Murray State who won, topping No. 4 seed Vanderbilt 66-65 when Danero Thomas nailed a buzzer-beater in San Jose. In 2011 it was Morehead State’s turn again, as the Eagles were seeded 13th and sent to Denver to battle No. 4-seed Louisville. MSU got off to a 15-2 lead nearly eight minutes into the game but trailed 61-59 with 31 seconds to play. On its final possession senior Demonte Harper nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 4.3 seconds remaining to give Morehead State the lead and Kenneth Faried blocked Louisville’s last shot attempt to seal the victory. Last season it was Murray State who once again won, knocking off Colorado State 58-41 in the second round in a game played in Louisville. The Racers earned a No. 6 seed in that event, the highest seed ever for an OVC team since the tournament seeding began in 1979.
Canaan Named Preseason All-American by Associated Press: Murray State senior guard Isaiah Canaan was one of six players named to the Associated Press Preseason All-American team this season. Canaan was joined on the team by Indiana sophomore Cody Zeller, Creighton junior Doug McDermott, Lehigh senior C.J. McCollum, Ohio State junior Deshaun Thomas and Michigan sophomore Trey Burke. Canaan was named on 43 of the 65 media ballots, second only to McDermott (who was named on 62 ballots).
Canaan Named to Wooden Award Preseason Watch List: Murray State senior guard Isaiah Canaan is one of 50 players named to the John Wooden Award Preseason Watch List. Canaan and Creighton’s Doug McDermott are the only two players who made the 10-player Wooden All-American Team last year to return to the preseason list this season. Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the Preseason Top 50. The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the midseason list and the official voting ballot, both of which are open to freshman and transfer students. The National Ballot consists of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top 10 players, will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The 37th annual Wooden Award ceremony will honor the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award winners, and will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award. The event will take place the weekend of April 12-13, 2013.
Canaan Named to Naismith Award Early Season Watch List: Murray State senior guard Isaiah Canaan is one of 50 players nationally named to the Naismith Award early season watch list and announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The 50-player watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2012-13 college basketball season. The Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded on April 7, 2013 in Atlanta. In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the top 30 players in the nation. Then in March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow the list to the four finalists.
Canaan is Candidate for Senior CLASS Award: Murray State senior guard Isaiah Canaan is one of 30 men’s basketball student-athletes who are candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The candidate classes will be narrowed to 10 men’s and 10 women’s finalists midway through the regular season, and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one men’s finalist and one women’s finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
No Freshmen: The SIUE men’s basketball team is one of six Division I teams this season to not feature a freshman (either true or redshirt) on its roster. The other teams without a freshman include Ohio, Portland State, Savannah State, UAB and Valparaiso.
Canaan Named to All-Tournament Team at Charleston Classic: Murray State senior Isaiah Canaan was named to the Charleston Classic All-Tournament team after leading his team to a runner-up finish at the event. Canaan averaged 20.7 points, 3.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds/game as the Racers topped Auburn and St. John’s before falling to Colorado.
OVC Tournament Once Again at Municipal Auditorium: The 2013 OVC Tournament will once again be played at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. (March 6-9). It marks the third-straight year the tournament has been at the venue and the eighth time the combined men’s and women’s tournaments have been held at the venue (1994, 1995, 1996, 2004, 2008, 2011, 2012); the men’s tournament was also held there in 1967. Beginning in 2011 the Championship switched to a format where the top eight men’s and women’s teams play in the merit-based format. The No. 1 and 2 seeds received two byes to the semifinals while the No. 3 and 4 seeds received one bye into the quarterfinals. The first round included the No. 5 seed against the No. 8 seed and the No. 6 seed against the No. 7 seed. As part of the deal to host the tournament at Municipal Auditorium, the Nashville City Council and Municipal Auditorium committed $200,000 to improvements at the venue, which opened in 1962. Among the major improvements included upgrades to the dressing rooms, two new scoreboards and the new OVC-branded playing surface. The floor was built by Horner Sports Flooring, whose corporate headquarters are in Dollar Bay, Mich. The company has made floors for many collegiate and National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, including building the floor for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game which was held at Texas Stadium. Last year’s event (2012) saw the largest neutral site crowds ever in Nashville and the second-largest championship game attendance ever at a neutral site. For the semifinal games last year 5,142 fans attended the Murray State/Tennessee Tech and Tennessee State/Morehead State games. A day later 6,454 fans attended the Murray State/Tennessee State Championship game. That crowd was the largest ever for a neutral site OVC Tournament game in Nashville and the second-largest neutral site championship crowd ever (trailing only the 8,145 fans who saw the 1993 Championship in Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky.).
OVC Teams to Compete Once Again in ESPN Sears BracketBusters Series: OVC teams will once again compete in the Sears BracketBusters series this season. This marks the eighth-straight season the every OVC teams has competed in the event. Now it its 11th year, BracketBusters is an ESPN television property that has been tremendously successful with its nine events. The event has allowed Division I conferences to participate in a cutting-edge format that involves “wild card” pairings from the pool of participating teams, with half of the ESPN BracketBusters teams pre-designated as “home” and the remaining half as “road” teams. This year there are 122 teams from 15 conferences in the pool of teams that will be selected for one of 13 nationally-televised games (5 on ESPN2, 4 on ESPNU and 4 on ESPN3).
OVC at 12 Schools for First Time With Addition of Belmont; League Begins First Year of Divisional Play: The addition of Belmont University on July 1, 2012 gave the OVC 12 member institutions, the largest the Conference has been since it was formed in 1948 (the OVC is currently the nation’s eighth-oldest Division I conference). The 2012-13 also marks the first year that SIUE, who finished its reclassification process to Division I in August, is eligible for the postseason. The East Division includes Belmont, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech. The West Division includes Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois, Murray State, Southeast Missouri State, SIUE and UT Martin. The team who finishes first in each division will be guaranteed either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed for the OVC Tournament (and get a double bye into the semifinals); Seeds 3-8 in the tournament will be based on best Conference record, regardless of which division the team is from.
Loos is All-Time Winningest Coach in OVC History: With a 68-66 victory at Ohio on Dec. 9, 2009, Austin Peay head coach Dave Loos recorded his 320th career victory while in the OVC, a mark that ranks first all-time. Loos passed Cal Luther (319 wins at Murray State and UT Martin) for the all-time mark. Loos, the Dean of OVC coaches, is now in his 23rd year at Austin Peay where he also serves as the Athletics Director, making him the only Division I head men’s basketball coach to hold that distinction. Loos is one of just 11 active Division I coaches to have coached at the same school for 20 or more years. Loos now has 365 victories in his tenure at Austin Peay and 447 for his career (which ranks him 27th among Division I head coaches). Although he is in his first year in the OVC, Belmont head coach Rick Byrd has 642 career victories, which ranks seventh among active Division I head coaches.
The OVC Welcomes Four New Head Coaches: The OVC has four new head coaches this season. Tennessee State promoted head coach Travis Williams to its top shot after former coach John Cooper left for Miami (Ohio). Eastern Illinois is under the direction of Jay Spoonhour while Morehead State hired former Mississippi Valley State head coach Sean Woods. Although not new to his team, Belmont’s Rick Byrd is new to the league as the Bruins are playing its first year in the league in 2012-13.
Former OVC Players in the NBA: Entering the 2012-13 season there are two former OVC players on NBA rosters. Former Morehead State All-American Kenneth Faried was the No. 22 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and is in his second season with the Denver Nuggets. Faried was a two-time OVC Player of the Year, three-time OVC Defensive Player of the Year and set the NCAA Modern Era (since 1973) Rebounding record during his career. Faried was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 2012 after averaging 10.2 points and 7.7 rebounds/game in 46 contests. Former Tennessee Tech star Kevin Murphy, who scored 50 points in a game last season, was picked by the Utah Jazz with the 47th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and begins his rookie season with the team. Several other former NBA players are in the NBDL including Morehead State’s Demonte Harper (Erie BayHawks), Tennessee Tech’s Liam McMorrow (Iowa Energy), Jacksonville State’s Nick Murphy (Iowa Energy) and Jacksonville State’s Walker Russell (Fort Wayne Mad Ants).
The 2012-13 Season: The 2012-13 season marks the 65th of competition in the OVC. Over the previous 64 years, 12 different teams have claimed an OVC regular season championship.
Murray State’s Canaan Tabbed as Preseason Player of the Year: The 2012-13 All-OVC Preseason Men’s Basketball team was headlined by Murray State senior Isaiah Canaan who is the defending OVC Player of the Year and a preseason All-American selection. Overall six different schools were represented on the team with Belmont, Murray State, Southeast Missouri and Tennessee State having two selections apiece while SIUE and Tennessee Tech each had one selection to round out the team. The squad features three players who were All-OVC first-team selections last season, two players who were second-team selections and one player who was selected to the All-Newcomer squad. The team is comprised of eight seniors and two juniors. Last season Canaan was named the 2012 OVC Player of the Year and 2011-12 OVC Male Athlete of the Year after ranking 24th nationally in scoring (19.0), sixth in 3-point percentage (45.6%) and 13th in 3-pointers made/game (2.97). In addition to Canaan, Tennessee State senior forward Robert Covington and Tennessee Tech senior guard Jud Dillard were each first-team selections last year and are on the preseason team this year. The second-team selections from last year appearing on the preseason team this year are Southeast Missouri junior forward Tyler Stone and SIUE senior forward Mark Yelovich. The Preseason All-OVC team was rounded out by the Belmont senior backcourt duo of Kerron Johnson and Ian Clark, Murray State senior forward Ed Daniel, Tennessee State junior guard Patrick Miller and Southeast Missouri senior guard Marland Smith.
Murray State, Belmont Picked as OVC Preseason Favorites: In a vote of Ohio Valley Conference head men’s basketball coaches and sports information directors defending champion Murray State was picked the favorite in the West Division while newcomer Belmont was picked as the East Division favorite in the OVC for 2012-13. This year marks the first for divisional play in the OVC, which now includes 12 teams for the first time in Conference history. Murray State led the West Division voting, picking up 22 of a possible 24 first-place votes (schools were not allowed to vote for themselves) and 132 total points. Southeast Missouri State was tabbed second and picked up the remaining two first-place votes and 108 points. The West was rounded out by Austin Peay (92), SIUE (73), Eastern Illinois (49) and UT Martin (38). Belmont picked up 21 of the 24 first-place votes and 131 points to be picked the East Division favorites. Tennessee State was tabbed second and received the other three first-place votes and 109 points. The East was rounded out by Tennessee Tech (87), Morehead State (77) and Eastern Kentucky (56). Due to a NCAA APR penalty, Jacksonville State is ineligible for the OVC and NCAA Tournaments this season and was not included in the preseason voting.
This Week’s OVC Schedule
Wednesday, November 28
Delaware State at Eastern Kentucky, 6:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Morehead State at Marshall, 6:00 p.m.
Central Arkansas at Eastern Illinois, 7:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Tennessee Tech at Loyola (Chicago), 7:00 p.m.
Berea at Austin Peay, 7:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Thursday, November 29
Southeast Missouri at New Orleans, 6:00 p.m.
UT Martin at Memphis, 7:00 p.m. (FOX Sports South/SportSouth)
Friday, November 30
Tennessee Tech at Lipscomb, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 1
Morehead State at Wright State, 1:00 p.m.
Eastern Illinois at Stony Brook, 1:00 p.m.
Chicago State at SIUE, 2:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Jacksonville State at Alcorn State, 3:00 p.m.
Southeast Missouri at Southeastern Louisiana, 4:00 p.m.
Kennesaw State at UT Martin, 6:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Belmont at VCU, 6:00 p.m. (Comcast Mid-Atlantic/CSS)
Western Carolina at Eastern Kentucky, 6:30 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Tennessee State at Alabama A&M, 7:00 p.m.
Fairfield at Austin Peay, 7:30 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Sunday, December 3
Berea (Ky.) at Tennessee Tech, 7:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
adidas® OVC Players of the Week
Ian Clark, G • Sr., 6-3, 175 • Memphis, Tenn. • Belmont
Clark was named to the Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team after helping Belmont to a third-place finish in the event. In the three games the senior averaged 16.3 points, 3.7 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals/game while hitting 51.6 percent (16-of-31) from the field and 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from 3-point range. In the Bruins win over host Alaska Anchorage he scored 14 points, dished out five assists and held UAA’s leading scorer to just two field goals in 40 minutes. In the semifinal loss to Northeastern, Clark set a record in the 35-year old history of the Great Alaska Shootout by connecting on 9-of-11 (81.8) 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 29 points. In a third-place victory over Oral Roberts, Clark struggled offensively but limited ORU’s top player (who entered the game averaged 24.0 points/game) to a season-low three points in 30 minutes of play.
Others Nominated: Travis Betran, Austin Peay; Mike DiNunno, Eastern Kentucky; Tarvin Gaines, Jacksonville State; Milton Chavis, Morehead State; Isaiah Canaan, Murray State; Kellen Thornton, Tennessee State; Corey Wilford, Southeast Missouri; Mike Liabo, UT Martin.
Travis Betran, G • Jr., 6-3, 185 • Harlem, N.Y. • Austin Peay
Betran, the transfer from Kilgore College, was named to the Cancun Challenge Mayan Division All-Tournament Team after leading Austin Peay to a 1-1 record during the week. In games against Western Carolina and Gardner-Webb the junior averaged 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists/game while hitting 55.6 percent (15-of-27) from the field and 50 percent (8-of-16) from 3-point range. In the come-from-behind win over WCU, Betran scored 13 of his 22 points in the second half including three second half 3-pointers that brought the team back from a 10-point deficit. He also added six rebounds and three assists in that game. He finished the tournament by scoring 18 points against Gardner-Webb, knocking down four 3-pointers for the second consecutive game. It marks the second time in three weeks Betran has been named OVC Newcomer of the Week.
Others Nominated: Sherman Blanford, Eastern Illinois; Corey Walden, Eastern Kentucky; Maurice Lewis-Briggs, Morehead State; Justin Childs, UT Martin.
Chris Horton, C • Fr., 6-8, 205 • Decatur, Ga. • Austin Peay
Horton earned OVC Freshman of the Week honors for the second-straight week after being named to the Cancun Challenge Mayan Division All-Tournament Team. Horton had a big defensive presence for the Governors as the team topped Western Carolina and lost to Gardner-Webb in the neutral site event. Horton blocked eight shots in two games and for the week averaged 6.0 points and 3.0 rebounds while hitting 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from the field. Horton had 10 points, three rebounds, four blocks and a steal in 19 minutes of action in the loss to Gardner-Webb. Horton has blocked at least two shots in all five APSU games this year and leads the OVC with 3.0 blocks/game.
Others Nominated: BJ McLaughlin, UT Martin.
Austin Peay: Austin Peay traveled to Mexico for the neutral site games in the Mayan Division of the Cancun Challenge at the Moon Palace Resort…The Governors knocked off Western Carolina before falling to Gardner-Webb in the finale…Junior Travis Betran was named OVC Newcomer of the Week for the second time in three weeks this season after averaging 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists/game and hitting 55.6 percent (15-of-27) from the field and 50 percent (8-of-16) from 3-point range…Betran scored 13 of his 22 points in the second half against Western Carolina as Austin Peay overcame a 10-point second half deficit…Chris Horton was named OVC Freshman of the Week for the second-straight week after being a defensive presence in blocking four shots in both games; Horton now leads the OVC in blocked shots (3.0/game) on the year and has blocked at least two shots in all five APSU games this season…Both Betran and Horton earned All-Tournament team honors at the event…Sophomore Chris Freeman had his second double-double of the season against Western Carolina, scoring 11 points and pulling down 10 rebounds; he scored eight of his 11 points in the second half…Senior Anthony Campbell had 21 points against WCU, his first 20-point outing since having 24 against Charleston Southern on Nov. 26, 2010; Campbell has missed most of the last two seasons with injuries…This week Austin Peay returns home to host Berea (Ky.) on Wednesday night and Fairfield on Saturday…The Fairfield contest is a BracketBusters return matchup from 2011.
Belmont: After topping Stanford last Sunday night, Belmont improved to 4-0 on the season for the first time in its NCAA era (1996-present) by topping host Alaska Anchorage in the first game of the Great Alaska Shootout…The Bruins would fall to Northeastern by three points in the semifinals before rebounding to top Oral Roberts (last year’s Summit League champions who have now moved to the Southland Conference) to take third place…Ian Clark and Trevor Noack were both named to the event’s All-Tournament Team…Clark was also named OVC Player of the Week after averaging 16.3 points, 3.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds/game; Clark set a Great Alaska Shootout record with nine 3-pointers (the most by a Division I player this season) against Northeastern as he scored a season-high 29 points…Clark also played great defense, holding ORU’s top scorer (24.0 ppg) to three points and UAA’s top scorer to just two field goals…Clark currently ranks third nationally in 3-pointers made/game (4.17)…Senior Kerron Johnson joined the 1,000-Point Club with 20 points against Oral Roberts; he is the 12th Belmont player in its NCAA Era to join that club…The ORU in was also the 550th for head coach Rick Byrd at Belmont…Nationally the Bruins rank sixth nationally in 3-point percentage (45.2%)…Belmont will travel to Richmond, Va. on Saturday night to play VCU, who is fresh off a trip to the Bahamas where it played in the Battle 4 Atlantis event, topping No. 19 Memphis before losing to No. 5 Duke and No. 13 Missouri…The game is available on Comcast Mid-Atlantic and CSS.
Eastern Illinois: Eastern Illinois split a pair of home games last week, losing by three points to Rochester College before topping Houston Baptist 64-44 to close the week…Junior forward Sherman Blanford averaged 13.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists/game during the week including 11 points and nine rebounds against Rochester College and 15 points and eight boards against Houston Baptist; nine of his 17 rebounds during the week came on the offensive glass…Sophomore forward Josh Piper had 16 points and 11 rebounds in the victory including hitting 6-of-6 at the charity stripe…EIU raced out to a 14-0 lead in that game and never looked back after holding a 32-15 halftime advantage…The Panthers shot 52.4 percent from the field in that game while holding HBU to just 35 percent from the field and 0-of-10 from 3-point range…The shooting performance was the opposite of what EIU did against Rochester, as the Panthers managed just 36.8 percent from the field and 35.7 percent (5-of-14) from 3-point range in the loss…This week Eastern Illinois will host Central Arkansas on Wednesday before traveling to Stony Brook for a Saturday afternoon matchup.
Eastern Kentucky: Eastern Kentucky won its only game last week, 68-44 over 2012 NCAA Tournament team Norfolk State, to improve to 5-0 on the season…With the victory EKU is the only OVC team to be undefeated…The 5-0 start is the first for the program since the 2004-05 season; a 6-0 start for the team would be the best since the program started 11-0 in 1946-47…The Colonels used a 20-5 run midway through the second half to pull away from the team who beat Missouri 86-84 in the second round of last year’s NCAA Tournament…Senior Mike DiNunno had 19 points, four steals, three assists and two rebounds in the victory; he also did not turn the ball over in 35 minutes of action while hitting 5-of-8 (62.5%) field goals, 4-of-6 (66.7%) 3-pointers and 6-of-6 (100%) free throws…Sophomore newcomer Corey Walden came off the bench to score 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting while also netting four steals and grabbing three rebounds; his 3-pointer capped the 20-5 second half run that put the game away for EKU…Junior Glenn Cosey added 14 points and four assists…As a team EKU ranks fifth nationally in turnover margin (+8.0/game)…This week EKU will host final two games of its seven-game home stretch to begin the 2012-13 season; the Colonels welcome Delaware State on Wednesday and Western Carolina on Saturday…Following those two home games Eastern Kentucky will play its next six months (the rest of the month of December) on the road.
Jacksonville State: Jacksonville State completed play in the Global Sports Classic last week, winning the early bracket of the event…After a loss to host UNLV to begin the event last Saturday, the Gamecocks started this week with a loss at Oregon before returning to Las Vegas for the final two games of the event…Once back in Vegas JSU topped Northern Arizona 50-48 and North Carolina A&T 54-50 in overtime to improve to 5-2 on the season…The start is the best for the program since beginning the 2008-09 season 6-1…Tarvin Gaines was named to the Global Sports Classic All-Tournament team for his efforts in the event…In the two games in Las Vegas last week he averaged 14.5 points and 5.0 rebounds/game, which came just days after missing the Oregon contest due to an illness; Gaines came off the bench to lead the team in scoring in both games…Gaines scored 14 of his 17 points after halftime in the overtime win over North Carolina A&T…After Saturday’s win the team returned home on for the first time since leaving campus on Nov. 16 (prior to the UNLV game)…This week Jacksonville State will play travel to Alcorn State for a Saturday afternoon contest.
Morehead State: Morehead State played just once last week, battling nationally-ranked and defending champion Kentucky at Rupp Arena…MSU played well early, leading 25-14 with 5:28 to play before halftime before ultimately trailing by one at the break…The Eagles then led by as many as six in the second half and led by one (48-47) to 13:28 to go before Kentucky took the lead for good and finished the game on a 43-26 run to win 81-70…Morehead State committed a season-low nine turnovers in the loss and are +21 in the miscue department on the season…Senior Milton Chavis hit 9-of-15 shots and 3-of-5 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 23 points; he has now led the Eagles in scoring all five games this season and ranks third in the OVC in scoring (18.4 points/game)…Junior newcomer Maurice Lewis-Briggs added 13 points, six rebounds and two steals in 23 minutes off the bench…MSU used 11 players in the game and have used 15 total players this season; they held a 29-4 advantage in points off the bench in the Kentucky game…This week Morehead State hosts Norfolk State (a team that beat Missouri in the 2012 NCAA Tournament) on Monday night before hitting the road for a pair of games…The Eagles will play at regional rival Marshall on Wednesday before heading to Wright State for a Saturday contest…Head coach Sean Woods will not coach in the Norfolk State game due to a conduct issue that occurred in the Kentucky contest.
Murray State: Coming off the runner-up finish in the Charleston Classic, Murray State played just once last week, topping Old Dominion 79-72 at the CFSB Center on Saturday night…Senior Isaiah Canaan hit 6-of-11 3-pointers and scored a game-high 30 points in the victory (it marked the fifth 30-point game of his career); the preseason All-American currently ranks second in the OVC in scoring (20.6 points/game)…Senior Ed Daniel added his OVC-leading third double-double of the season by scoring 15 points and grabbing a career-high 15 rebounds (the second-most in a game in the OVC this year)…Daniel hit 5-of-9 shots and also blocked two shots and had a steal…Senior Brandon Garrett was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field in scoring a career-high 13 points; Garrett also added four rebounds and two assists in the victory…Overall the Racers are 4-1 in the season and have won 35 of 38 games over the past two seasons…This week Murray State plays at Lipscomb on Monday night in a return game from last season; that marks the first true road game of the season for MSU (who played three neutral site games in Charleston)…MSU carries a 13-game road winning streak into the game; the Racers were the only Division I team to go undefeated (13-0) in true road games during the 2011-12 season…The Lipscomb contest serves as the only game this week for the Racers who will not play again until hosting Bethel next Tuesday (Dec. 4).
Southeast Missouri: After starting the season 3-1, including a win over Chattanooga last Sunday to begin the CBE Classic, the Redhawks lost three games last week including the final two games in Chattanooga to Louisiana Tech and Troy…The week ended with a road loss at Illinois-Chicago…That concluded a stretch of four games in seven days for the Redhawks…Senior Corey Wilford averaged 17.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists/game while connecting on 10-of-24 (41.7%) 3-point attempts; he had 20 points of the bench against Troy and then made his first career start at UIC, scoring 15 points in a career-best 37 minutes of play…Wilford has now scored in double figures in four-straight games…Junior Tyler Stone has registered a double-double in three of his last four starts and is now tied for the OVC lead in that category (3)…Stone currently ranks eighth in the OVC in scoring (15.6/game) and fourth in rebounding (9.0/game)…Nino Johnson leads the OVC with 19 total blocks (2.7/game, an average that ranks second) and has recorded two or more blocks in six of his first seven games of the season; Johnson also ranks third in the OVC in rebounding (9.1/game)…Senior Marland Smith played in his 100th career game at UIC and needs just three more 3-pointers to reach 200 for his career…Southeast Missouri starts this week with a Monday home contest against Hannibal-LaGrange before heading to the road for two more games this week…That road trip begins with New Orleans on Thursday (the first of a home-and-home series with the Privateers this season) and includes a Saturday contest with Southeastern Louisiana.
SIUE: SIUE lost a pair of games last week, falling to rival Southern Illinois on Tuesday before coming up short at Texas-Pan American on Saturday…The game with their sister school SIUC was the first in Edwardsville since Jan. 8, 1987 and just the fifth all-time meeting between the programs…The game was tight until the Salukis used a 23-3 second half run to win 71-55…Derian Shaffer had his first double-double of the season in scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the loss…Senior Mark Yelovich was the only other Cougars player in double figures (11)…Senior Jerome Jones, the team’s leading scorer, was ejected from that game due to a flagrant foul and was suspended from Saturday’s UTPA contest…Without Jones the Cougars were paced by sophomore Kris Davis who had 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting (including 4-of-6 3-pointers) while Yelovich added 11 points and eight rebounds…SIUE hit 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from 3-point range against the Broncs but committed 17 turnovers and allowed Texas-Pan Am to shoot 49.1 percent overall from the field…SIUE has just one game this week, against in-state foe Chicago State on Saturday afternoon.
Tennessee State: Tennessee State completed a six-game swing away from home to begin the season with three games in Atlanta as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic…TSU pulled out its first win over the season against South Alabama to start the week before losing on a half court buzzer-beater against host Georgia State and ending the week with a loss to Monmouth…TSU has struggled over the last three years during the month of November, going 5-14 against tough competition…Senior Kellen Thornton led the Tigers by averaging 14.0 points and 9.7 rebounds/game while hitting 59.4 percent (19-of-32) from the field…Thornton had his biggest game of the week against Monmouth, hitting 12-of-18 shots on his way to a career-high 27 points while also pulling down 16 rebounds…The 16 rebounds are the most by an OVC player in a game this year…Patrick Miller continued to dish out assists at a high rate, averaging 6.3/game in the three contests while also averaging 13.7 points and 4.3 rebounds/game…Miller currently ranks first in the OVC (and 12th nationally) in assists (6.7/game), 1.5 assists/game more than second place in the league…Senior Robert Covington added 11.3 points and 7.0 rebounds/game in the three contests…Tennessee State will play its first home game of the season on Monday night when it hosts in-city Division II foe Fisk…The week will conclude with a game at Alabama A&M on Saturday night.
Tennessee Tech: After a 3-0 start, Tennessee Tech suffered its first loss of the season in its lone game last week, falling 62-50 at home to Evansville…The Golden Eagles were limited to just 38 percent (19-of-50) from the field and connected on just 5-of-10 free throw attempts in the loss…Evansville, on the other hand, hit 48 percent from the field in winning its third-straight game…Dennis Ogbe and Lanerryl Johnson led TTU with 10 points apiece while senior Jud Dillard added nine points in limited time due to foul trouble…Despite the low-scoring game, Dillard continues to lead the OVC in scoring (23.3 points/game) while also ranking sixth in the league in rebounding (7.8/game)…Ogbe ranks first in the OVC in field goal percentage (68.2%) early in the season…As a team Tennessee Tech ranks first in the league in scoring defense (56.2 points/game), scoring margin (+17.0) and field goal percentage (50.9%)…Tennessee Tech has two road contests this week, playing at Loyola (Chicago) on Wednesday before returning to the state of Tennessee to battle Lipscomb in Nashville on Friday night.
UT Martin: UT Martin split a pair of games last week, topping Lyon College 92-58 at home last Tuesday before falling 80-57 at Bradley on Saturday afternoon…In the win over Lyon College the team amassed season-high in 3-pointers made (9), assists (26) and steals (17)…UTM never trailed in that game, hitting 60 percent from the field in the first half on its way to the victory…The Skyhawks defense was stout, limiting their opponent to 32.1 percent from the field and 20 percent (4-of-20) from long range…For the week junior Mike Liabo averaged 20.0 points while hitting 7-of-17 (41.2%) from 3-point range; he poured in a season-high 25 points against Lyon College in just 25 minutes of action and added 15 points off the bench on Saturday at Bradley…Sophomore Myles Taylor, who ranks seventh in the OVC in scoring (17.2 points/game), averaged 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds/game last week in only 20.0 minutes of action; he had 17 points and nine rebounds at Bradley before fouling out…Junior newcomer Justin Childs had 14 points, five rebounds, three assists and four steals against Lyon College and added 12 points at Bradley…Freshman BJ McLaughlin made his first career start against Bradley and had season-bests in points (9), rebounds (7), assists (3), steals (2) and minutes played (33)…UT Martin will play at Memphis, who was nationally-ranked until losing two games (VCU, Minnesota) at the Battle 4 Atlantis last week, on Thursday night (FOX Sports South/SportSouth) and then host Kennesaw State on Saturday.
SectionsBasketball (Men), Featured Story, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, Schools, Sports
TopicsAPSU, Austin Peay, Austin Peay State University, Basketball, boys basketball, Clarksville, Clarksville Sports Network, Dave Loos, Govs, Lady govs, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Tennessee
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