Morehead State (17-9) at Tennessee Tech (13-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 15, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Eblen Center (9,280) -- Cookeville, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: MSU 8-3, TTU 11-2. Away Record: MSU 8-5, TTU 4-8. Neutral Record: MSU 1-1, TTU 0-2. Conference Record: MSU 8-3, TTU 6-5. Series Record: Morehead State leads, 76-63.
GAME NOTES: The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles will attempt to extend their season-best winning streak to four games when they face the Morehead State Eagles in an Ohio Valley Conference clash at the Eblen Center on Saturday night.
Tennessee Tech claimed a 72-66 upset victory over Eastern Kentucky on Thursday, marking the first time this season it has won three straight games. The Golden Eagles are an even 13-13 overall, and they own a 6-5 mark in OVC play. They will play three of their final four games at home, beginning against Tennessee-Martin next Thursday.
Morehead State is also riding a three-game win streak. However, the feat is not as uncommon for the Eagles, who are tied for the second-best overall record in the OVC (17-9), while sitting third (8-3) in the conference standings. They will host three of their final four contests, with the next one coming against Austin Peay.
The second meeting between these teams this season may end up being the more meaningful bout as they square off in the regular-season finale. Last year, they split a pair of bouts, but Morehead State has won 11 of the last 13 and leads the all-time series, 76-63.
Morehead State was able to escape with a 69-67 road victory against Jacksonville State last time out. The Eagles connected on 43.5 percent of their shots from the floor and outscored the Gamecocks, 26-16, from the free- throw line. Drew Kelly scored a game-high 19 points to lead the way.
The Eagles also dominated the glass in the win over Jacksonville State, owning a 38-26 edge on the boards. Such an effort has been commonplace for Morehead State, which leads the OVC and ranks 19th nationally in rebounding (39.3 rpg). Heading up those efforts is Chad Posthumus (9.8 ppg, 11.6 rpg), who is a sure bet for a double-double most nights as he is tied for the national lead in rebounds. In terms of scoring, Angelo Warner (17.5 ppg) is the go-to guy, while Brent Arrington (11.7 ppg) and Kelly (10.1 ppg) fill in the gaps. Warner finished with 16 points on Thursday night.
Dennis Ogbe scored 18 points to go with seven rebounds as five players finished in double figures in Tennessee Tech's victory over Eastern Kentucky. The Golden Eagles connected on 55.8 percent of their total shots, while outscoring the Colonels off turnovers (24-17), and in second-chance points (14-5).
Tennessee Tech isn't usually as efficient as it was against Eastern Kentucky, the team ranking ninth in the OVC in scoring (72 ppg) and eighth in field goal percentage (.445). Ogbe (10.3 ppg, 6 rpg) and Dwan Caldwell (10.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg) are the top scorers on a unit that favors balance over individual performance. Including Ogbe and Caldwell, there are six players putting in at least 7.5 ppg. Jeremiah Samarrippas (9.3 ppg, 4.2 apg) could be scoring at a better rate, but he is only connecting on 37.7 percent of his field goal attempts. He does make up for the poor shooting to an extent, ranking among the top-10 in the OVC in assists.
Tennessee Tech is a tough team at home (9-3), as it proved with its win over first-place Eastern Kentucky. The key will be slowing down the Eagles offensively, and making sure to crash the boards. If they can do both of those things, the Golden Eagles have a chance at pulling off the upset.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tennessee Tech 72, Morehead State 68
02/15 10:47:45 ET