Tennessee Tech (9-15) at Morehead State (12-14)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ellis Johnson Arena (6,500) -- Morehead, Kentucky.
Television: None. Home Record: Tennessee Tech 6-4, Morehead State 9-4. Away
Record: Tennessee Tech 3-11, Morehead State 3-10. Neutral Record: Tennessee
Tech 0-0, Morehead State 0-0. Conference Record: Tennessee Tech 3-9, Morehead
State 6-6. Series Record: Morehead State leads, 74-62.
GAMES NOTES: After collecting a much needed win on Thursday the Morehead State
Eagles will try to build a winning streak when they take on the Tennessee Tech
Golden Eagles in Ohio Valley Conference action at Ellis Johnson Arena.
Tennessee Tech was not so fortunate in its bout with Eastern Kentucky on
Thursday as it was handed an 80-69 defeat. The setback was the third in the
last four games for the Golden Eagles who have had more struggles than
successes this season at 9-15 overall and 3-9 in league play.
An 85-81 win over a tough Jacksonville State team ended a three-game losing
streak for Morehead State. The Eagles are still hanging beneath .500 in terms
of overall play (12-14) but have moved back to even against the OVC with six
wins to match six losses.
A year ago these teams split the season series with the home team coming out
on top in each instance. Before that, Morehead State had won nine straight
games as it leads the all-time series by a 74-62 margin.
The second half was where things went wrong for Tennessee Tech against Eastern
Kentucky. After going into halftime leading 33-30, the Golden Eagles allowed
the Colonels to shoot 57.1 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes.
Turnovers also hurt Tennessee Tech's cause as it was on the short end of a
22-4 deficit in points off takeaways.
Jud Dillard (19.2 pg, 7.9 rpg) was once again at the top of the score sheet
for the Golden Eagles with 17 points in the contest. The 6-foot-5 swingman is
the second leading scorer in the OVC and has been in double figures in every
league bout this season and 15 straight games overall. Dennis Ogbe (9.8 ppg,
5.7 rpg) and SMU-transfer Jeremiah Samarrippas (9.5 ppg, 4.1 apg) have shown
flashes of offensive ability. In all the Golden Eagles are a rather weak team
on the offensive end of the floor where they score the 10th fewest points per
game in the conference (64.1), while ranking 11th in field-goal percentage
(.418) and last in assists (12 apg).
After Morehead State led for the majority of the game against Jacksonville
State there were three ties and six lead changes in the final seven minutes.
The Eagles were able to hold off the Gamecocks though thanks to a 5-0 spurt in
the final two minutes and a 4-of-4 effort from the free-throw line in the
Morehead State doesn't have a scorer like Dillard but has still managed to be
a more effective offensive squad. The Eagles are fifth in the league in points
(70.7 ppg), primarily thanks to a team-wide effort to share the ball as they
rank third in the conference in assists (14.7 pg). Morehead State has hurt
itself by allowing teams to score 70.4 points per game, on 45.4 percent
shooting. Devon Atkinson (7.4 ppg, 5.2 apg) isn't a big-time scorer but
orchestrates the Eagles' offensive efforts as the second-leading player in the
conference in assists. Milton Chavis (10.3 ppg) and Angelo Warner (10.1 ppg)
are the only double-figure scorers on the roster, which features seven players
scoring at least seven points per game.
The blueprint to beat Tennessee Tech is rather simple. If you can stop Dillard
you can likely get a win. Though the Eagles may struggle in that regard their
offensive balance will outweigh Dillard's efforts.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Morehead State 72, Tennessee Tech 67
02/16 10:32:06 ET