Eastern Kentucky won two games last week to improve to 7-0 on the season, making them one of 20 teams nationally to be undefeated entering the week; it is the best start for the EKU program since starting 7-0 in the 1946-47 season.
Murray State, who is still receiving votes in both national Top 25 polls, improved to 5-1 on the season with a victory at Lipscomb last week; that increased the Racers road winning streak to 14 games, the longest streak in the nation (MSU has not lost a road game since losing in the NIT at the end of the 2010-11 season).
Murray State was the only Division I team to be undefeated in true road games last season. Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan currently ranks eighth nationally in scoring (22.5 points/game) and fifth in 3-pointers made/game (3.83) while Belmont guard Ian Clark is third nationally in 3-pointers made/game (4.0).
Two OVC teams (Southeast Missouri and Tennessee State) will challenge No. 11 Missouri this week.
Murray State Receiving Votes in Top 25: Murray State (5-1) continues to receive votes in both national Top 25 polls. The Racers picked up 7 points in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 4 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 was among the other schools receiving votes in that poll. Creighton was ranked first and received 26 first place votes while Gonzaga received the other 5 first place votes. With its undefeated start Eastern Kentucky picked up 32 points and is closing in on the Top 25. 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 latest set of NCAA statistical leaders released on Dec. 3, Murray State ranks third nationally in 3-pointers made/game (10.0), Belmont ranks fifth in 3-point percentage (43.8%), Southeast Missouri is fifth in field goal percentage defense (34.6%), Eastern Kentucky is seventh in turnover margin (+7.9) and ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5) while Austin Peay is seventh in personal fouls/game (12.9). Individually Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan ranks eighth nationally in scoring (22.5 points/game) and fifth in 3-pointers made/game (3.83). Belmont’s Ian Clark is third nationally in 3-pointers made/game (4.0) while UT Martin’s Justin Childs is eighth in free throw percentage (95.2%). Murray State’s Ed Daniel is seventh in rebounding (11.3/game) and eighth in double-doubles (8).
OVC Digital Network: The OVC launched the OVC Digital Network (OVCDN) in August 2012. The OVCDN is the exclusive home for live web streamed athletic contests involving OVC schools. This marks the seventh year the OVC has streamed live events, but first time the events will be offered free of charge and in an HD format and will feature improved quality thanks to an investment in new equipment conference-wide. Fans will also find it easier to log onto OVCDigitalNetwork.com and access the streams and can do so without any registration. The events will be available on any computer, tablet or smart phone without needing any special downloads or apps thanks new streaming technology.
Austin Peay: Austin Peay opened last week with a 108-53 victory over Berea (Ky.) College and capped the week with a loss to Fairfield at home…Freshman Chris Horton averaged 12.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in the team’s two games; Horton had 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting against Berea and added nine points versus Fairfield…Horton blocked five total shots on the week and has at least two blocked shots in every game this season; his 2.9 blocks/game average ranks first in the OVC…He was named OVC Freshman of the Week for the third-straight week for his performance…With a pair of free throw against Berea, senior Anthony Campbell joined the 1,000-Point Club, becoming the eighth active OVC player to score 1,000 points in his career…Freshman Corey Arentsen scored a season-best 20 points in the win over Berea, hitting 6-of-8 3-point attempts; it was the most made 3-pointers by an Austin Peay player since Jan. 2011 (TyShwan Edmondson)…The Govs dished out 24 total assists in the win over Berea, including a season-best nine by freshman AJ Lynch in that contest…APSU committed 21 turnovers in the loss to Fairfield, which was a BracketBusters return game; it marked the second time this season the team had 20 or more turnovers in a game…Junior newcomer Travis Betran was 3-of-6 from 3-point range against Fairfield, the fourth-straight game he has made at least three 3-pointers; Betran ranks sixth in the OVC in 3-pointers made/game (2.6)…This week Austin Peay hosts Oakland City on Wednesday night before traveling to Memphis to battle the Memphis Tigers on Saturday at Noon (FOX Sports South/SportSouth).
Belmont: After returning from its third-place finish at the Great Alaska Shootout, Belmont played just one game last week, losing 75-65 at power VCU on Saturday night…The Bruins trailed by as many as 21 points, including 13 with 5:56 to play, before rallying to cut the margin to 68-63 with 3:38 to go…Overall Belmont committed 24 turnovers on the night…Senior Ian Clark had a perfect shooting night, hitting 10-of-10 from the field and 3-of-3 from 3-point range on his way to 24 points…He was also good defensively, holding VCU guard Troy Daniels to just three points on 1-of-6 shooting…Clark ranks third nationally in 3-pointers made/game (4.0) and 14th in 3-point percentage (54.3%)…Kerron Johnson added 11 points and six assists while Blake Jenkins added nine points, four rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes of play…Belmont currently leads the OVC in 3-point percentage (43.8%) and steals (10.7/game); that 43.8 3-point percentage ranks the Bruins fifth nationally…Belmont plays just once this week, on Tuesday night when they host in-city rival Lipscomb (CSS/ESPN3) in the Battle of the Boulevard…In the earlier meeting between the teams this season the Bruins won 89-60 at Lipscomb to open the season (Nov. 9)…Following the game the team will have nine days before its next contest (a home game with Middle Tennessee).
Eastern Illinois: Eastern Illinois lost a pair of games last week, losing on a buzzer-beater to Central Arkansas to begin the week and falling 66-52 at Stony Brook on Saturday…Against Central Arkansas the Panthers trailed by 15 points (48-33) with 16:13 to play before battling back to tie the contest at 69 with 1:47 to play…On the team’s next possession Josh Piper connected from 3-point range to give EIU the lead before UCA tied the game with a trifecta of its own on the next possession…Following a 3-point attempt by the Panthers the Bears missed a jumper, but got an offensive rebound and converted on a jumper as time expired…In the road game against Stony Brook Piper was the team’s leading scorer, scoring 14 points on 3-of-5 3-point shooting…Piper averaged 9.0 points and 5.0 rebounds/game during the week…Freshman Alex Austin averaged 8.5 points and 3.0 rebounds/game last week in two games off the bench; Austin had nine points and two rebounds against UCA and added eight points and four rebounds against Stony Brook…Eastern Illinois will host a pair of games this week, entertaining in-state foe Western Illinois on Wednesday and Toledo on Saturday…The home games are the final two for the team until Jan. 10 when they host OVC foe Tennessee Tech; after Saturday’s game the Panthers will play five-straight on the road.
Eastern Kentucky: Eastern Kentucky concluded its seven-game home stand to begin the 2012-13 season with a pair of victories last week (Delaware State, Western Carolina) to improve to a perfect 7-0 on the season…Entering this week the Colonels are one of 20 teams nationally to be undefeated and one of 12 teams to be undefeated and have seven or more victories…Junior Glenn Cosey was named OVC Newcomer of the Week for the second time this season after averaging 18.0 points, 3.5 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals/game and hitting 50 percent (13-of-26) from the field and 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from 3-poiont range…Cosey had 21 points, five assists and four steals in the win over Delaware State and 15 points, four rebounds and two assists in the come-from-behind win over WCU…Cosey currently ranks third in the OVC in scoring (17.9 points/game), ninth in field goal percentage (53.7%) and first in assist-to-turnover ratio (+3.1)…Against Western Carolina the team fell behind by 11 points at halftime and were down 62-52 with 6:38 to play before ending the game on a 20-8 run…With the score tied, senior Mike DiNunno drove to the basket and converted on a layup with 2.3 seconds left to give his team the win…The 7-0 start is the best for the program since Jan. 4, 1947 (when Harry Truman was President, a gallon of gas was 15 cents and a postage stamp cost 3 cents)…The game on Saturday was the last home contest for the Colonels until Jan. 3; between now and then EKU will play six-straight road games which begins this week with contests against North Carolina Central (Tuesday) and Chattanooga (Saturday)…EKU leads the OVC in field goal percentage (50.1%), scoring margin (+16.6), assists (16.3/game) and turnover margin (+7.9/game).
Jacksonville State: Jacksonville State ran its winning streak to three games with a 56-52 victory at Alcorn State on Saturday…It marked the team’s third victory away from home this season…Now 6-2 on the season, it marks the best start for the team since beginning the 2008-09 season 6-1 overall…JSU used a balanced attack to win at ASU, as four players scored in double figures with Ronnie Boggs leading the way with 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting; Boggs also had eight rebounds, an assist and a steal…Tarvin Gaines added 12 points, Brian Williams scored 11 and Darion Rackley accounted for 10 points in the win…The team won despite shooting just 31.7 percent from the field (19-of-60) and 36.4 percent (4-of-11) from 3-point range…JSU currently has four players averaging between 11.6 and 9.0 points/game…The Gamecocks currently lead the OVC in scoring defense (59.0 points/game)…Jacksonville State does not play this week as its team will take final exams for the semester…JSU returns to action next Tuesday (Dec. 11) when they host Martin Methodist.
Morehead State: Morehead State played three games last week, opening the week with win over 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Norfolk State (73-67), before losing by three points at regional rival Marshall (70-67) and ending the week with a 66-57 loss at Wright State…In the win over Norfolk State, Milton Chavis scored 19 points and 10 rebounds, netting his first double-double of the season; Chavis has led the team in scoring in six of the team’s eight contests this season and currently ranks 10th in the OVC in scoring (15.8 points/game)…Junior newcomer Jarrett Stokes averaged 12.3 points, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals/game in the three contests including posting a season-best 14 points at Marshall, a came in which he also had five rebounds…Stokes hit 4-of-6 3-pointers in that game after entering the game hitting just 21 percent from long distance…The MSU bench continues to be strong, out-scoring its opponents 254-to-115 this season; that works out to a 31.8 points/game average in scoring for the Eagles non-starters…After a pair of road games (and three of four away from home), Morehead State is home this week for contests with North Dakota State (Wednesday) and Indiana State (Saturday)…MSU will pay a return visit to NDSU on Dec. 21 while the ISU game is a BracketBusters return game…The Eagles are currently 3-0 at home this season and 53-8 (86.9%) at Johnson Arena over the past five seasons.
Murray State: Murray State played just once last week, playing its first true road game of the season at Lipscomb…The Racers trailed by one point at halftime before grabbing the lead for good with 15:55 to play in the second half and pulling away for the 88-79 victory…It marked the 14th-straight road victory for Murray State, the longest streak in Division I; the Racers were a perfect 13-0 in road games last season (the only DI team to accomplish that feat) and have not lost on the road since falling at Missouri State in the NIT at the end of the 2010-11 season…Senior Isaiah Canaan had his second 30-plus point game of the season in hitting 6-of-11 3-pointers on his way to 32 points; he also added six rebounds, four assists and a steal…Canaan leads the OVC and ranks eighth nationally in scoring (22.5 points/game)…Senior Ed Daniel recorded his fourth double-double of the season with a season-high 20 points and a career-high 18 rebounds (the 18 rebounds are the most by an OVC player in a game this season)…Daniel hit 12-of-17 free throw attempts in the game while also blocking five shots (tied for the most by an OVC player in a game this season), dishing out three assists and netting a steal…Daniel currently leads the OVC in rebounding (11.3/game) and ranks 11th in scoring (15.5/game)…As a team MSU ranks first in the OVC in scoring (80.0 points/game) and 3-pointers made/game (10.0); the 10.0 3-pointers made/game ranks third nationally…Murray State will host Bethel on Tuesday night and then travel to Evansville (ESPN3) for a Saturday contest…Following that game the Racers will have eight days between games.
Southeast Missouri: Southeast Missouri snapped a three-game losing streak by winning all three of its games last week, including two road contests…The Redhawks topped Hannibal-LaGrange to open the week and then went on the road to best New Orleans and Southeastern Louisiana…The win over the Lions on Saturday ended Southeastern Louisiana’s 31-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents…Tyler Stone averaged 16.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 assists/game in the three contests; Stone had 13 points and seven rebounds against Hannibal-LaGrange, 23 points and 14 rebounds at UNO and 13 points and nine rebounds at SLU…Stone now has four double-doubles on the season, tied for most in the OVC; Stone ranks third in the OVC in rebounding (9.3/game) and ninth in scoring (15.8/game)…Nino Johnson blocked seven shots on the week and now has 26 on the season, most in the OVC…Marland Smith became just the third player in Southeast history with 200 career made 3-pointers…Southeast leads the OVC and ranks fifth nationally in field goal defense (34.6%) as no team has shot better than 40 percent against the team this year; the Redhawks also lead the Conference in rebounding (40.5/game) and 3-point field goal defense (24.8%)…Southeast Missouri completes its three-game road swing with a date against No. 11 Missouri on Tuesday (ESPN3)…The week concludes with a home contest with Central Arkansas on Saturday…Following that game SEMO will have 11 days between games, next hosting New Orleans on Dec. 19.
SIUE: SIUE played just one game last week, topping in-state foe Chicago State 71-57 at home on Saturday…The Cougars fell behind early and did not hold a lead in the game until a Tim Johnson free throw with 13:57 to play in the second half; the game was tied once after that but the Cougars never fell behind again…Jerome Jones led the team with 17 points while also adding six rebounds and two assists…Michael Messer added 12 points while Maurice Wiltz scored 11…Kris Davis added eight points and dished out a game-high six assists…The team was without senior Mark Yelovich who was out with an injury…SIUE will go on the road to play a pair of in-state rivals, playing at Northern Illinois on Wednesday and at Western Illinois on Saturday…A win over NIU would push the team’s record to .500, which would be the first time in the team’s Division I era they will be at or above .500 after the start of the season.
Tennessee State: Tennessee State snapped a two-game losing streak with a pair victories last week, topping Fisk in its first home game of the season and then winning at Alabama A&M on Saturday night…Senior Robert Covington was named OVC Player of the Week after averaging 28.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 1.5 assists/game and hitting 65.4 percent (17-of-26) from the field, 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from 3-point range and 94.4 percent (17-of-18) from the free throw line…Covington had a season-high 29 points and 14 rebounds as well as five steals and two assists against Fisk and then added 27 points, six rebounds, four steals, an assist and a block against AAMU…Covington currently ranks seventh in the OVC in scoring (16.5 points/game), seventh in rebounding (7.5/game) and second in steals (2.5/game)…Patrick Miller currently ranks 13th nationally in assists/game (6.8) and 22nd nationally in steals/game (2.75)…Kellen Thornton hit 11-of-13 (84.6%) shots against Fisk, the seventh-best percentage nationally in a game this season…TSU currently leads the OVC in rebounding margin (+6.5)…Tennessee State hosts just its second home game of the season on Tuesday when they entertain Drexel at the Gentry Center…The week concludes with a trip to No. 11 Missouri on Saturday (ESPN3)…Following the Mizzou contest TSU will have eight games before its next contest (Dec. 16 vs. LeMoyne-Owen).
Tennessee Tech: Tennessee Tech dropped a pair of road games last week, falling by three points at Loyola (Chicago) before returning to Tennessee and dropping a contest at Lipscomb…Senior Jud Dillard recorded his third double-double of the season against Lipscomb, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds; the three double-doubles are fourth-most in the OVC this season…Dillard ranks second in the OVC and 30th nationally in scoring (20.0 points/game); he also ranks eighth in the OVC in rebounding (7.3/game)…Junior newcomer Jeremiah Samarrippas averaged 17.5 points, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals/game in the two contests last week; the transfer from SMU had a season-best 20 points at Lipscomb, hitting 4-of-8 3-pointers…At Loyola Samarrippas hit 3-of-6 3-pointers and dished out five assists…Matt Marseille hit 8-of-12 shots (2-of-4 3-pointers) on his way to a career-high 21 points in just 24 minutes of action…TTU leads the OVC in rebounding defense (30.3/game)…Tennessee Tech hosts a pair of home games this week, the final contests at the Eblen Center until January…The Golden Eagles play Berea (Ky.) College on Monday and Green Bay on Thursday…Following those two games the team plays five-straight on the road…That road trip begins on Saturday with a game at Gardner-Webb.
UT Martin: UT Martin split two games last week, losing at national power Memphis on Thursday before picking up its first Division I victory of the season on Saturday in a 65-63 victory over Kennesaw State…Against Memphis the Skyhawks were limited to just 35.3 percent (24-of-68) from the field and 38.9 percent (7-of-18) from 3-point range while the Tigers hit 52.2 percent (36-of-69) of its field goal attempts…Junior Mike Liabo hit 5-of-9 3-pointers in the game on his way to a game-high 21 points; newcomer Justin Childs added 17 points and Myles Taylor had 16 in the loss…Taylor followed that performance with 20 points (on 8-of-12 shooting) and nine rebounds in the win over KSU…Liabo added 14 points in that contest while Childs had 12…For the week Taylor averaged 18.0 points and 9.0 rebounds/game, Liabo averaged 17.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists/game and Childs averaged 14.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steal/game…Childs currently ranks eighth nationally in free throw percentage (95.2%) while the Skyhawks team ranks first in the OVC and 40th nationally (75.5%) in that category…Khristian Taylor dished out a career-high 10 assists in 28 minutes off the bench on Saturday; he became the first Skyhawk to have double-digit assists in a game since Feb. 26, 2009 (Delrico Lane)…UT Martin begins a three-game road swing this week with games at Central Arkansas on Wednesday and at Lipscomb on Saturday.
This Week’s Schedule
Monday, December 3
Berea (Ky.) at Tennessee Tech, 7:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Tuesday, December 4
Eastern Kentucky at North Carolina Central, 6:00 p.m.
Lipscomb at Belmont, 6:00 p.m. (CSS/ESPN3)
Bethel at Murray State, 7:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Drexel at Tennessee State, 7:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Southeast Missouri at #11 Missouri, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
Wednesday, December 5
North Dakota State at Morehead State, 6:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
UT Martin at Central Arkansas, 7:00 p.m.
Western Illinois at Eastern Illinois, 7:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
SIUE at Northern Illinois, 7:00 p.m.
Oakland City at Austin Peay, 7:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Thursday, December 6
Green Bay at Tennessee Tech, 7:30 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Saturday, December 8
Austin Peay at Memphis, 12:00 p.m. (FOX Sports South/SportSouth)
Indiana State at Morehead State, 1:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Murray State at Evansville, 1:05 p.m. (ESPN3)
Tennessee State at #11 Missouri, 2:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
Central Arkansas at Southeast Missouri, 5:30 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Toledo at Eastern Illinois, 6:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Eastern Kentucky at Chattanooga, 6:00 p.m.
Tennessee Tech at Gardner-Webb, 6:00 p.m.
UT Martin at Lipscomb, 6:30 p.m.
SIUE at Western Illinois, 7:00 p.m.
adidas® OVC Players of the Week
Robert Covington, F • Sr., 6-9, 215 • Bellwood, Ill. • Tennessee State
Covington helped Tennessee State snap a two-game losing streak with a pair of victories last week as he averaged 28.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 1.5 assists/game while hitting 65.4 percent (17-of-26) from the field, 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from 3-point range and 94.4 percent (17-of-18) from the free throw line. Covington had a season-high 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting (3-of-6 3-pointers) as TSU opened the week with a win over in-city rival Fisk in what was the team’s first home game of the season. The senior also pulled down a season-high 14 rebounds, had five steals and two assists in the convincing victory. He ended the week with 27 points, six rebounds, four steals, an assist and a block in a road victory over Alabama A&M. Covington currently ranks seventh in the OVC in scoring (16.5 points/game), seventh in rebounding (7.5/game) and second in steals (2.5/game).
Others Nominated: Ian Clark, Alex Austin, Eastern Illinois; Glenn Cosey, Eastern Kentucky; Ronnie Boggs, Jacksonville State; Ed Daniel, Murray State; Tyler Stone, Southeast Missouri; Jerome Jones, SIUE; Mike Liabo, UT Martin.
Glenn Cosey, G • Jr., 6-0, 182 • Flint, Mich. • Eastern Kentucky
Cosey, the transfer from Columbus State Community College, earned his second OVC Newcomer of the Week honor of the season after averaging 18.0 points, 3.5 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals/game while hitting 50 percent (13-of-26) from the field, 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from 3-point range and 100 percent (3-of-3) from the charity stripe. Cosey scored 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting (4-of-7 3-pointers) while adding five assists and four steals in a victory over Delaware State to begin the week. In a come-from-behind win over Western Carolina he hit 3-of-6 3-pointers on his way to 15 points, while also pulling down four rebounds and dishing out two assists. As EKU trailed Western Carolina by 10 with 6:38 to play, Cosey played a key role down the stretch, including a layup with 1:15 to go to tie the game and a jumper with 27 seconds left that gave the Colonels its first lead in over 31 minutes of playing time. Cosey currently ranks third in the OVC in scoring (17.9 points/game), ninth in field goal percentage (53.7%) and first in assist-to-turnover ratio (+3.1).
Others Nominated: Jarrett Stokes, Morehead State; Jeremiah Samarrippas, Tennessee Tech; Justin Childs, UT Martin.
Chris Horton, C • Fr., 6-8, 205 • Decatur, Ga. • Austin Peay
Horton earned his third-straight OVC Freshman of the Week honor after averaging 12.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 1.5 steals/game while hitting 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from the field and 80 percent (4-of-5) from the free throw line. In just 16 minutes of action against Berea (Ky.) College, Horton hit 6-of-9 shots on his way to 15 points. He also added six rebounds (four offensive), three steals, two blocks and an assist. In the team’s game against Fairfield on Saturday, he added nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Horton has had at least two blocked shots in every game this season and his 2.9 blocks/game average ranks first in the OVC.
Others Nominated: Alex Austin, Eastern Illinois.
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, Lady govs, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Tennessee
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