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Morehead State (13-16) at Tennessee State (16-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 28, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gentry Center (10,500) -- Nashville, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: Morehead State 10-5, TSU 10-1. Away Record: Morehead State 3-11, TSU 5-10. Neutral Record: Morehead State 0-0, TSU 1-1. Conference Record: Morehead State 7-7, TSU 10-4. Series Record: Morehead State leads, 31-26.
GAMES NOTES: On Thursday night the Morehead State Eagles will collide with the Tennessee State Tigers in an Ohio Valley Conference battle at the Gentry Center.
Morehead State is trying to recover from back-to-back losses in overtime. The most recent was an 82-79 defeat to Oakland that dropped the Eagles to 13-16 overall while evening their conference record at 7-7. The Eagles are currently situated in fifth in the East Division but sixth overall in the OVC. with just the season finale against Tennessee Tech on Saturday left on the schedule.
Tennessee State had won four of five contests before losing in a tight 69-67 decision to Loyola-Maryland in BracketBusters action last Saturday. The Tigers own a 16-12 overall record, including 10-4 in league action. With that league mark the Tigers are in third in the OVC East Division standings and just two games behind conference and division-leading Belmont. The Tigers have a crucial contest with Eastern Kentucky in the regular-season finale.
When these teams met in late January, Morehead State posted a 78-69 victory on its home floor. The Tigers had won three of the previous four meetings, but the Eagles lead the all-time series, 31-26.
The Eagles led by as many as 11 points against Oakland but allowed the Golden Grizzlies to take a seven-point lead with 1:28 remaining in regulation. Then it was Morehead State's turn to rally as they scored the final seven points in regulation to force overtime. In the extra session the Eagles hit just 2-of-9 shots from the floor to succumb in the three-point decision.
Balance is the major key for the Eagles on the offensive end of the floor. Morehead State is scoring a solid 71.8 points per game despite having just two players score in double figures led by Milton Chavis (10.8 ppg). Angelo Warner (10.3 ppg) is the other double digit scorer while the roster has seven other players scoring at least seven points per game. Devon Atkinson (7.6 ppg, 5.2 apg) has been vital not for his scoring but his passing as he is second in the conference in assists. Defensively the Eagles are allowing teams to shoot 45.5 percent from the field. Leading rebounder Chad Posthumus (7.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg) had one of his best games of the season with 19 points and nine rebounds against Oakland.
A pair of free throws from Dylon Cormier sank Tennessee State in its loss to Loyola-Maryland. The Tigers got out to a 49-38 lead at the break but crumbled in the second half. The Tigers registered just six field goals in the final 20 minutes on 27.3 percent shooting.
Four different players are scoring in double figures for the Tigers. Robert Covington (16.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg) missed a large portion of the season but has come on strong since his return from injury. The 6-foot-9 forward has scored in double figures in all six games since his return. Kellen Thornton (14.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg) is another strong scorer and rebounder in the frontcourt for the Tigers with eight double-doubles on the season. In the backcourt, Patrick Miller (14.4 ppg, 5.3 apg) has proved to be a capable scorer, while leading the OVC in assists. Jordan Cyphers (12.0 ppg) shoots just 37.4 percent from the field, but is dangerous from behind the arc.
The first time these teams met Covington was not on the floor. Now with him back the Tigers have even more options on the offensive end.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tennessee State 72, Morehead State 65
02/28 10:37:37 ET