Southeast Missouri State (9-8) at Morehead State (11-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 16, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Ellis Johnson Arena (6,500) -- Morehead, Kentucky. Television: None. Home Record: SEMO 4-2, MSU 5-2. Away Record: SEMO 2-6, MSU 5-4. Neutral Record: SEMO 3-0, MSU 1-1. Conference Record: SEMO 1-3, MSU 2-1. Series Record: Morehead State leads, 22-17.
GAME NOTES: Ellis Johnson Arena is the site of Thursday's Ohio Valley Conference clash between the Morehead State Eagles and the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks.
The Redhawks will be attempting to build off a 102-94 win over Tennessee State in their last venture. The win ended a four-game slide for SEMO, which is hovering just above .500 overall (9-8), thanks in no small part to its success on the road (2-6). The Redhawks will be the visitors again on Saturday as they take on Tennessee Tech.
As for Morehead State, it will be trying to get back in the win column after suffering a 76-65 setback against Eastern Kentucky to kick off a three-game homestand. The loss ended a three-game win streak for the Eagles, who are 11-7 overall and 2-1 in league play. They will finish up their run at home on Saturday against Tennessee-Martin.
These teams met just once last season, and Morehead State was victorious in pulling out a 75-59 triumph on the road. The win was the ninth in the last 10 meetings for the Eagles, who lead the all-time series by a count of 22-17.
SEMO kept its foot on the gas for 40 minutes to get by Tennessee State. Led by 27 points from Tyler Stone, the Redhawks shot 65.3 percent from the floor, which included a 9-of-16 performance from 3-point range, while scoring 22 points off turnovers.
The Redhawks are blessed with the top scoring duo in the OVC with Jarekious Bradley (21.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and Stone (18.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg), each of whom have been enjoying extremely productive seasons. Stone is also making an impression on the boards and at the defensive end, ranking in the top five in the league in blocks and rebounds. Lucas Nutt (7.5 ppg, 5.6 apg) may not be among the elite scorers in the conference, but he is tied for third in assists. All together the Redhawks are netting a league best 83.9 ppg on 49.2 percent shooting, with each mark ranking in the top-20 nationally as well.
Morehead State kept pace with Eastern Kentucky in the first half, but fell apart after the break. In the second frame, the Eagles managed just five total field goals as Angelo Warner finished with a team-high 17 points before fouling out.
Although they are not lighting up the scoreboard as frequently as the Redhawks, the Eagles are still a formidable offensive group, ranking third in the OVC in scoring (78.7 ppg). They are also the conference's best team on the glass (40.6 rpg). Double-double machine Chad Posthumus (10.8 ppg, 12.2 rpg) has powered the efforts on the boards, leading the conference and ranking second nationally in rebounds, while providing solid scoring in the frontcourt. Warner (17.3 ppg, 3.3 apg) and Brent Arrington (11.4 ppg) are the more utilized scorers, and Kareem Storey (7.3 ppg, 5.9 apg) leads the league in assists.
Even with the scoring duo of Bradley and Stone, the Redhawks have not been able to be as effective on the road. Expect the Eagles to make enough stops to send SEMO packing.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Morehead State 76, SE Missouri State 70
01/16 11:18:25 ET