Murray State and Austin Peay continue to lead the way in the Ohio Valley Conference as the Racers and Governors both swept a pair of games last week to improve to 4-0 in conference play.
Murray State defeated Jacksonville State (72-68) and Tennessee Tech (81-69) last week, while Austin Peay downed the same opponents. The Govs defeated TTU 75-62 on Jan. 9 before slipping past the Gamecocks 71-67 two days later.
Belmont, Tennessee State, Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky have all lost just once in four league games so far this season and are all tied for second place in the OVC with 3-1 records. Jacksonville State (2-2) is seventh while UT Martin and SIU-Edwardsville share the eighth spot it 1-3 league marks. Eastern Illinois, Southeast Missouri and Tennessee Tech remain winless with 0-4 conference records.
Austin Peay’s Terry Taylor averaged 20.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and two assists in the Govs’ two games last week and was selected as the OVC Player of the Week for his performances against the Golden Eagles and Gamecocks.
He connected on 14 of 30 field goals in the two games and was 13 of 18 from the free throw line.
Taylor began the week with 27 points and 12 rebounds against TTU. Along the way he grabbed his 300th career offensive rebound and became the ninth player in school history to reach 600 field goals in his career. He is one of 13 active Division 1 players with 1,500 points and 700 rebounds in his career.
This Week’s Marquee Game
Morehead State at Belmont
When: Saturday, Jan. 18, 4 p.m.
Where: Curb Event Center (5,085)
Morehead State and Belmont both get a chance to stay within striking distance of league leaders Murray State and Austin Peay. Or they can fall off the pace and make things difficult for themselves heading into the second half of the conference schedule
MOREHEAD STATE EAGLES: Morehead State is riding a three-game winning streak since falling to Jacksonville State 76-72 in the conference opener. Since then the Eagles have slipped past Tennessee Tech (83-72), SIU-Edwardsville (83-77) and Eastern Illinois (69-66).
They are led by a trio of guards who are all averaging in double figures in scoring. Jordan Walker (6-0, Sr.) leads that trio with 13.4 points per game while adding 3.4 rebounds per outing. Teammates Djimon Henson (6-3, Sr.) and Justin Thomas (5-11, RS, Jr.) are averaging 10.5 and 10.1 points per game, respectively, for the Eagles this season. Henson is contributing 3.5 rebounds per game, while Thomas is grabbing 5.8 boards per game and ranks second on the team in that category.
BELMONT BRUINS: Like Morehead State, Belmont begins the week on a three-game conference winning streak. The Bruins fell to SIU-Edwardsville 79-69 to begin the league season, but has downed Eastern Illinois (87-55), Southeast Missouri (89-64) and UT Martin (85-78) since that time.
And like the Eagles, Belmont has three players scoring in double figures. Guard Adam Kunkel (6-3, So.) tops the team with 17.2 points per game and is chipping in with 2.2 rebounds per game for the Bruins. He has also record 36 assists and 15 steals on the season heading into Thursday’s game at home against Eastern Kentucky.
Nick Muszynik (6-11, So.) is not far behind Kunkel when it comes to scoring. He is averaging 15.5 points per game and his 6.5 rebounds per game are second on the team in that department behind team-leader Grayson Murphy (6-2, So.), who paces the Bruins with 8.1 rebounds per game from his guard position. Murphy is averaging 9.2 points per game this season.
Tyler Scanlon (6-7, Grad.) is the third Bruin in double digits. He is averaging 12.1 points and 5.3 rebounds this season. He is also tops on the team with 105 assists and the year and has 36 steals.
Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Standings
|Southeast Missouri State||5-13||7-24||340|
Check out our full Mid-Major Sagarin Ratings for this week here.
This Week’s Games
Austin Peay at SE Missouri, 7:15 p.m.
Jacksonville State at Eastern Illinois, 7:30 p.m.
Morehead State at Tennessee State, 7:30 p.m.
Murray State at UT Martin, 7:30 p.m.
Tennessee Tech at SIU-Edwardsville, 7:30 p.m.
Eastern Kentucky at Belmont, 8 p.m.
Tennessee Tech at Eastern Illinois, 3:15 p.m.
Jacksonville State at SIU-Edwardsville, 3:30 p.m.
Austin Peay at UT Martin, 4 p.m.
Eastern Kentucky at Tennessee State, 4 p.m.
Morehead State at Belmont, 4 p.m.
Murray State at SE Missouri, 4 p.m.
Last Week’s Results
Austin Peay 75, Tennessee Tech 62
Belmont 89, SE Misouri 64
Eastern Kentucky 77, Eastern Illinois 74
Morehead State 83, SIU-Edwardsville77
Murray State 72, Jacksonville State 68
UT Martin 87, Tennessee State 74
Austin Peay 71, Jacksonville State 67
Belmont 85, UT Martin 78
Eastern Kentucky 78, SIU-Edwardsville 72
Morehead State 69, Eastern Illinois 66
Murray State 81, Tennessee Tech 69
Tennessee State 75, SE Missouri 73
A native of Bismarck, N.D., Ray is a graduate of North Dakota State University where he began studying athletic training and served as a student trainer for several Bison teams including swimming, wrestling and baseball and was a trainer at the 1979 NCAA national track and field championship meet at the University of Illinois. Ray later worked in the sports information office at NDSU. Following his graduation from NDSU he spent five years in the sports information office at Missouri Western State University and one year in the sports information at Georgia Tech. He has nearly 40 years of writing experience as a sports editor at several newspapers and has received numerous awards for his writing over the years. A noted sports historian, Ray is currently an assistant editor at Amateur Wrestling News.