CSJ OVC Men’s Hoops Preview Week Ending 1/26/2020: Racers, Governors Continue to Pace OVC Men’s Standings

Courtesy Belmont Vision

Murray State and Austin Peay continue to lead the way in the Ohio Valley Conference men’s basketball standings. 

Belmont has a chance change all of that as the Bruins tangle with the Racers and Governors this week in key OVC contests.

Murray State won a pair of conference games last week. The Racers defeated UT Martin 84-62 on Jan. 16 and got past Southeast Missouri 96-91 in overtime two days later to improve to 6-0 in conference play and 13-5 on the season.

The win over SEMO was the 100th win for coach Matt McMahon. He became the third straight MSU coach to reach 100 wins after Billy Kennedy won 107 games in five seasons (2006-11) and Steve Prohm tallied 132 win in his five seasons (2011-15) with the Racers.

Tevin Brown helped rally the Racers in the win over the Redhawks, who led by four points with less than one minute remaining in regulation. Brown nailed a pair of free throws with 39.5 seconds remaining and then connected on two more with just .7 seconds left in regulation to tie the game and force overtime. He finished with a game-high 29 points in the win.

Austin Peay, meanwhile, defeated the same two teams. The Governors ran past the Redhawks 84-59 and scored a 92-81 triumph over the Skyhawks to keep pace with a 6-0 league mark. APSU is 12-7 heading into this weekend’s games.

Freshman Jordyn Adams had a stellar week for the Governors and was voted the OVC freshman of the week for the fifth time this season. Adams scored 31 points, including seven three-pointers against UT Martin and followed that up with 11 points in the win against SEMO.

Belmont also won a pair of games last week to keep pace in the league standings. The Bruins defeated Eastern Kentucky 87-56 and downed Morehead State to improve to 5-1 in conference play and 14-5 on the season. 

Belmont plays at Murray State on Thursday and tangles with Austin Peay on Saturday with a chance to take over the conference lead.

Tennessee State and Eastern Kentucky sit in fourth place heading into this weekend’s slate of games. Morehead State and Jacksonville State are tied for sixth place in the conference standings. The Eagles and Gamecocks are both 3-3 in league play.

OVC Marquee Games of the Week

Belmont at Murray State
When: Thursday, Jan. 23, 6 p.m.
Where: CFSB Center (8,600)
Television: ESPN2, Watch ESPN App

BELMONT BRUINS: Belmont enters the game against Murray State on a five-game winning streak in conference play. The Bruins opened the conference portion of their schedule with a loss 79-69 loss at home against SIU-Edwardsville. Since then they have defeated Eastern Illinois (87-55), SEMO (89-64) and UT Martin (85-78) before knocking off Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State last week.

The Bruins are being led by a trio of players who are averaging in double figures in scoring. Adam Kunkel (6-3, So., G) leads the way with 16.9 points per game. He has connected on a team-high 55 3-pointers this season, while ranking second on the team with 42 assists on the season.

Nick Muszynski (6-11, So., C) and Tyler Scanlon (6-7, Gr., F) are also averaging more than 10 points per game for Belmont. Muszynski, who is shooting 62 percent (127-205) from the floor so far this season, is scoring 15.8 points per contest. His 6.8 rebounds per game is second on the team in that department.

Scanlon, meanwhile, is scoring at a 11.9 per game clip and ranks third on the team with 4.9 rebounds per game.

MURRAY STATE RACERS: MSU has four players averaging more than 10 points per game this season which poses plenty of challenges for opponents to defend.

Tevin Brown (6-5, So. G) is far and away the team leader with 17.7 points per game for the Racers. He has connected on 53 of 122 shots (.434) from behind the arc this season to aid in his scoring output. A playmaker, Brown ranks second on the team with 61 assists on the year and his 21 steals leads the team in that department.

KJ Williams (6-10, So. F) ranks second in scoring with 12.7 points per game and is second on the team with 7.1 rebounds per outing. His 16 steals rank second behind Brown in that category.

Anthony Smith (6-7, Sr., F) and Jaiveon Eaves (6-2, Sr., G) also average in double figures in scoring with 11.1 and 10.4 points, respectively. Smith is the top rebounder for the Racers by pulling down 7.8 boards per game. Eaves, meanwhile, ranks third on the team with 37 assists so far this season.

Courtesy Clarksville Online

Belmont at Austin Peay
When: Saturday, Jan. 25, 4 p.m.
Where: Winfield Dunn Center (7,257)
Television: ESPN+, Watch ESPN App

BELMONT BRUINS: See Above

AUSTIN PEAY GOVERNORS: Austin Peay comes into this week’s OVC action with an average of 77.2 points per game and are outscoring the opposition by nearly five points (72.5) per game.

Unlike Belmont, the bulk of the scoring for the Govs is being handled by a pair of players. Terry Taylor (6-5, Jr. G/F) leads the way with 22.7 points per contest while also leading the team with 9.2 rebounds per outing. His 27 steals also tops the team charts in that category.

Jordyn Adams (6-3, Fr. G), the reigning OVC freshman of the week, is scoring at a 16.3 points per game clip and ranks third on the team in rebounding (3.9 rpg) and 41 total assists on the season.

Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Standings

Teamvs OVCOverallSagarin
Murray State12-219-7124
Austin Peay12-218-9138
Belmont11-320-787
Eastern Kentucky10-413-14263
Tennessee State8-616-11219
Morehead State6-812-15309
Eastern Illinois5-912-14265
Jacksonville State5-912-17264
UT Martin4-108-17320
SIU-Edwardsville4-107-20333
Tennessee Tech4-107-20337
Southeast Missouri State3-117-20338

Check out our full Mid-Major Sagarin Ratings for this week here.

Last Week’s Results

Jan. 16

Austin Peay 84, SE Missouri 59
Belmont 87, Eastern Kentucky 56
Eastern Illinois 70, Jacksonville State 69
Belmont 87, Eastern Kentucky 56
Eastern Illinois 70, Jacksonville State 69
Murray State 84, UT Martin 62
Tennessee State 64, Morehead State 48
Tennessee Tech 72, SIU-Edwardsville 6

Jan. 18

Austin Peay 92, UT Martin 81
Belmont 77, Morehead State 59
Eastern Illinois 84, Tennessee Tech 59
Eastern Kentucky 92, Tennessee State 88
Murray State 96, SE Missouri 91, OT

This Week’s Games (all times local)

Jan. 23

Belmont at Murray State, 6 p.m. ESPN2
Eastern Kentucky at Jacksonville State, 7:30 p.m., ESPN+
SE Missouri at SIU-Edwardsville, 7:30 p.m., ESPN+
UT Martin at Eastern Illinois, 7:30 p.m., ESPN+
Tennessee State at Austin Peay, 8 p.m., ESPN+

Jan. 25

SE Missouri at Eastern Illinois, 3:15 p.m., ESPN+
Belmont at Austin Peay, 4 p.m. ESPN+
Morehead State at Jacksonville State, 4 p.m., ESPN+
UT Martin at SIU-Edwardsville, 4:30 p.m., ESPN+
Tennessee State at Murray State, 7 p.m., ESPN+
Eastern Kentucky at Tennessee Tech, 7:30 p.m., ESPN+

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