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HomeSportsOhio Valley Conference Men's Basketball Notes for December 13th

Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Notes for December 13th

Clarksville Sports NetworkBrentwood, TN – The Ohio Valley Conference releases a report every week listing Men’s Basketball Players of the week as well as detailing the previous weeks results.

Here’s the Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Basketball report from the week of December 12th, 2011. (Information courtesy of the Ohio Valley Conference).

This Week’s Schedule

Tuesday, December 13th
Bethel at UT Martin, 7:00pm.

Thursday, December 15th
Lipscomb at #24 Murray State, 7:00pm. (OVCSports.TV)

Saturday, December 17th
Tennessee Tech
at Evansville, 1:05pm.
Tennessee State at Delaware State, 6:00pm.
Rochester (Mich.) at Austin Peay, 7:00pm. (OVCSports.TV)
*Eastern Kentucky at Jacksonville State, 7:00pm. (OVCSports.TV)
Arkansas State at #24 Murray State, 7:00pm. (OVCSports.TV)

Sunday, December 18th
IPFW at UT Martin, 1:00pm.
Eastern Illinois at Northwestern, 5:00pm. (BTN)

OVC Men’s Basketball Standings

Team OVC Overall
Murray State 0-0 10-0
Eastern Illinois 0-0 6-3
Tennessee Tech 0-0 5-4
Eastern Kentucky 0-0 6-5
Southeast Missouri State 0-0 4-6
Tennessee State 0-0 4-6
Morehead State 0-0 4-7
Jacksonville State 0-0 3-7
SIUE 0-0 2-6
Austin Peay 0-0 2-9
UT Martin 0-0 2-9

Team Notes

Austin Peay: After starting the season 0-9 (with eight of those games being played at road/neutral sites) Austin Peay broke through with a pair of victories last week…The week started with a 86-82 overtime win over Arkansas State; in that game the Govs led by as many as 11 points with 7:05 remaining, only to see ASU storm back and force overtime…In that extra period Josh Terry scored six points to help the team to the victory; he finished the game with 22 points…On Saturday the team extended the winning streak with a 74-70 win over Tennessee, its first-ever victory over the Vols in nine meetings; it was the first win over an SEC foe for Austin Peay since topping Mississippi State in the 1991-92 season…APSU trailed UT by 11 (64-53) with 6:27 to play in the game but ended the game on a 21-6 run, including scoring the final eight points of the game…All 21 of those points in the run were scored by seniors, including nine by Terry and seven by TyShwan Edmondson; Terry finished the game with 20 points while Edmondson had 19 off the bench…The UT game also marked the return of senior center John Fraley, who suffered a concussion in the season-opener and missed the next nine games; Fraley hit 5-of-6 shots to score 12 points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked two shots…APSU shot a season-high 59.1 percent (26-of-44) from the field against Tennessee, including 72.7 percent (16-of-22) from the floor in the second half…Junior Anthony Campbell, who missed all but 10 games of last season with a injury, suffered the same injury against Arkansas State and will miss the rest of the year…Austin Peay will play just once this week, when they host Rochester (Mich.) on Saturday night.

Eastern Illinois: Eastern Illinois began last week by extending its winning streak to three games (and six wins in seven games) by topping Oakland City 83-67 at Lantz Arena…The Panthers shot a blistering 76 percent (16-of-21) from the field in the first half and finished the game by hitting 59.3 percent (32-of-54) overall…After trailing by one midway through the first half, freshman Josh Piper sparked a 14-5 run as EIU grabbed a 14-point halftime advantage and did not look back…Coming off the bench Piper hit 6-of-8 shots and 5-of-5 at the free throw line in scoring 17 points in just 19 minutes of action; Piper also had three rebounds, a block and two steals…Junior Jonathan Miller had his best game in a Panthers uniform, hitting 5-of-8 shots (including 2-of-3 3-pointers) on his way to 15 points in 12 minutes of action…Senior L.C. Doss scored 21 points to lead all scorers, as he hit 8-of-11 from the field and 5-of-8 from 3-point range…In total 13 different Eastern Illinois players saw action and nine of them scored at least two points…The winning streak ended on Saturday night when the team traveled to rival Western Illinois and lost 64-48; the home team in the EIU/WIU series has now won nine of the last 10 games overall (the exception being the Panthers win at WIU in 2009-10)…Senior Jeremy Granger led Eastern with 18 points, hitting 7-of-13 shots while also grabbing four rebounds and dishing out an assist…Eastern Illinois will play at Northwestern on Sunday in its only action of the week.

Eastern Kentucky: Eastern Kentucky completed a three-game home stand (its first three home games of the season) by topping North Carolina Central and Georgia Southern last week to extend its winning streak to three games…It marks the third time in seven years under head coach Jeff Neubauer the team has started the year at least 3-0 at home…Senior Jaron Jones started the week by scoring a career-high 30 points in the 75-62 win over NCCU; he became the first Colonel to score 30 or more points since Mike Rose did it in the 2008-09 season…Jones hit 10-of-12 (83.3%) from the field and was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line, pulled down three rebounds, had two assists and two steals…In the win over Georgia Southern he added 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, had five rebounds, an assist and a steal…For the week Jones averaged 25.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals/game and hit 72.0 percent (18-of-25) from the field…Junior D’Mitri Riggs added a career-high 17 points in the win over NCCU and also tallied seven steals, the most by a player in the OVC this season and the most by an EKU player in over eight years…Junior newcomer Mike DiNunno led the team in assists last week and averaged 4.5/game while also connecting on all three of his free throw attempts…EKU currently ranks ninth nationally in fewest turnovers/game (10.7)…Eastern Kentucky will play in the first OVC game of the season next Saturday night when the team travels to Jacksonville State; that game is one of just two played prior to the Christmas holiday this season.

Jacksonville State: After taking nine days off for final exams, Jacksonville State returned to action last weekend with two games in New Orleans as part of the Skip Prosser Tournament hosted by Tulane…On Saturday the Gamecocks played Southern as part of the event and came out with a 55-50 victory in snapping a four-game losing streak…Jax State struggled from the field the entire game, hitting 29.8 percent (17-of-57) overall and 5-of-17 (29.4%) from 3-point range but played tough defense and forced 20 turnovers and limited the Jaguars to just 37 percent from the field…Trailing by seven points with just over nine minutes to go, JSU used a 20-8 advantage to close out the game and earn the victory…Stephen Hall scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Tarvin Gaines added 12 points…A night later the Gamecocks played against host Tulane, who entered the contest 10-1 overall on the season…JSU was able to get a career-high 21 points from sophomore Brian Williams in the game, as Williams hit 3-of-8 3-pointers, pulled down four rebounds, dished out six assists and had two steals in 35 minutes of action…JSU trailed by just three points with 2:18 to go but the team would manage just one more basket the remainder of the game…Gaines added 13 points for JSU…Jacksonville State will host Eastern Kentucky in the first OVC game of the season next Saturday; that will be one of just two Conference games played before the Christmas holiday this season.

Morehead State: Morehead State hosted Illinois State and South Dakota at Johnson Arena last week, and dropped close games to both teams…The Eagles lost 78-73 to Illinois State and 57-56 to South Dakota…Against the Redbirds, MSU trailed by 17 points (54-37) with 13:21 to play but cut the lead to 74-72 with 30 seconds to play on a pair of free throws by Marsell Holden but could get no closer as ISU hit its final five free throw attempts of the game…Holden led Morehead State with a season-best 21 points, hitting 5-of-8 field goals, 3-of-5 3-point attempts and 8-of-8 at the free throw line in 22 minutes off the bench; he also added three steals and two assists…Ty Proffitt added 18 points on 4-of-7 3-point shooting…The Eagles shot 48.1 percent from the field for the game, but the Redbirds connected on 58.5 percent of their attempts, including 12-of-22 (54.5%) from long range…On Saturday South Dakota connected on 65 percent (13-of-20) of their field goal attempts in the first half, led by 13 points at halftime and were up 43-26 with 17:31 remaining in the game…At that point MSU responded with a 28-6 run to lead by five points with 3:41 to play…The game came down to a 3-pointer with USD with 28 seconds to play, which proved to be the game-winner as Terrance Hill missed a potential game-winner on Morehead State’s last possession…Hill led the team with 13 points while Kahlik Owens had 15 rebounds (the third-most by an OVC player this season) for the Eagles…Holden added eight points and averaged 14.5 points/game for the week…Morehead State is off this week for final exams but returns to the court on Monday, Dec. 19 at Binghamton.

Murray State: In its only game of the week, Murray State went to No. 20/21 Memphis and beat the Tigers 76-72 to improve to 10-0 on the season…The loss for Memphis was only the 16th at the FedEx Forum in 146 games since the building opened in 2004…By starting the season 10-0, the Racers are one of only five OVC teams to start a season 10-0 or better since the league was formed in 1948; the other teams are Western Kentucky in each 1948-49 (15-0) and 1953-54 (21-0) and Murray State in each 1950-51 (12-0) and 1951-52 (11-0)…The win improved the Racers RPI to No. 6 nationally (RPIRatings.com) and allowed the team to enter the AP Top 25 at No. 24 (the team is unofficially No. 27 in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25)…MSU is the first OVC team to be ranked in the AP Top 25 since the Racers were No. 25 in the final regular season poll of the 1997-98 season…Murray  State led for all but 1:42 of the game and were up by as many as 13 points in the first half and 12 points with 2:36 to play in the game before withstanding the Tigers last run…Senior Donte Poole scored 14 of his team-high 20 points in the second half of the victory; Poole hit a career-high 6-of-8 from 3-point range and also had a career-high four steals for the Racers…Battling foul trouble junior Isaiah Canaan had 15 points, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals…Ed Daniel added 13 points, nine rebounds and four key blocks while Ivan Aska had 12 points, three rebounds and a rare 3-pointer right before halftime to extend MSU’s lead to five at the break…Murray State leads the OVC in 3-point percentage, free throw percentage, steals, scoring defense, 3-point field goal defense, rebounding defense, scoring margin, rebounding margin and turnover margin…This week Murray State will host Lipscomb on Tuesday night and Arkansas State on Saturday.

Southeast Missouri: Southeast Missouri dropped non-conference games at Central Arkansas (88-72) and to UMKC (74-69) last week…Despite the losses senior Leon Powell had a huge week, averaging 23.5 points, 14.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals/game while hitting 73.1 percent (19-of-26) from the field…Powell had a season-high 26 points and grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds (the most in the OVC this season) at Central Arkansas last Monday; he followed that with 21 points and 10 rebounds, as he went 8-of-10 from the field…Powell had double-doubles in both games last week and his three double-doubles on the season now ranks first in the OVC…Powell currently ranks third nationally in field goal percentage (74.6%) after leading that category last season…Sophomore Tyler Stone was named OVC Newcomer of the Week for the third time in five weeks this season after averaging 21.0 points and 8.5 rebounds/game and hitting 60.7 percent from the field…Stone hit 12-of-18 shots from the field and 6-of-7 at the free throw line on his way to a season-high 30 points at UCA and followed that with 12 points and nine rebounds against UMKC…In that Central Arkansas game Powell and Stone combined for 56 points and 27 rebounds…The loss to UMKC was the first at the Show Me Center for the Redhawks, who had started the year 4-0 at home…The team ranks first in the OVC and 34th nationally in field goal percentage (47.9%)…Southeast Missouri is off for final exams this week but will return to action on Monday, Dec. 19 when they host SMU.

SIUE: SIUE split a pair of home games last week, losing to Ball State (76-55) before rebounding to defeat Hannibal-LaGrange (67-45)…Three Cougars scored in double figures against Ball State but the team hit just 35.2 percent from the field and 16.7 percent (4-of-24) from long range in the loss…Jerome Jones and Michael Messer led the way with 12 points apiece while Mark Yelovich added 10 points…Fortunes changed four days later against Hannibal-LaGrange, as SIUE hit 47.4 percent (27-of-57) from the field and committed just 10 turnovers while forcing 18 miscues and limiting their opponent to just 31.6 percent shooting from each the field and 3-point range…Yelovich scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half and now has 913 career points, which is 17th on the SIUE career scoring list…Junior Derian Shaffer added 14 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting night while also pulling down seven rebounds and two steals…Jones added 13 points and five rebounds…SIUE is one of three OVC teams who do not play this week as they take a break for final exams…The Cougars return to the court on Monday, Dec. 19 at Southern Illinois.

Tennessee State: Tennessee State finished last week 1-1, losing to cross-town rival (and future OVC foe) Belmont before rebounding to top Central Michigan 65-57 on Saturday in a BrcketBusters return matchup…The Tigers were within three points with less than five minutes to go against the Bruins, before Belmont went on a 17-7 run to notch its sixth-straight win over TSU…Tennessee State did shoot 41 percent from the field in the game and Patrick Miller led the way with 17 points, connecting on 6-of-10 shots and 3-of-3 3-point attempts…In the CMU contest, the Tigers trailed by two points at halftime but used a 21-0 run out of halftime to grab an advantage it would not relinquish in improving to 13-3 at the Gentry Center over the past two seasons…Junior Robert Covington hit double figures for the ninth-straight game, scoring 19 points to go along with eight rebounds and two steals; Covington hit 7-of-11 shots in the game and for the week averaged 15.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists/game…Miller added 11 points and three assists against CMU while newcomer Kellen Thornton had 10 points and eight rebounds; Thornton currently leads the team in field goal percentage (52.2%) on the season…Tennessee State will travel to Delaware State for a Saturday matchup in its only game of the week; that game will be the last road contest until Dec. 31 for the team, as TSU will begin a three-game home stand following the contest

Tennessee Tech: Tennessee Tech won both of its contests last week, home games over rival East Tennessee State (83-74) and Lipscomb (89-87 in overtime)…The Golden Eagles have now won three of its last four games overall (and three in a row at home) and are back above .500 on the season…Senior Kevin Murphy, the OVC Preseason Player of the Year, averaged 26.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals/game last week while hitting 57.1 percent (20-of-35) from the field and 50 percent (6-of-12) from 3-point range…Murphy had 23 points in the win over ETSU and added 29 against Lipscomb…Murphy, who now has 1,525 points (eighth in TTU history), leads the OVC and ranks 19th nationally in scoring (20.8/game)…Murphy also extended his consecutive games with a 3-pointer streak to 14 games dating back to last season…Jud Dillard continues to lead the OVC in rebounding (8.3/game), a mark that ranks 77th nationally; he had six rebounds against ETSU and nine rebounds (to go along with 22 points) against Lipscomb…In the overtime victory over Lipscomb the Golden Eagles overcame an eight-point halftime deficit by shooting 51 percent from the field in the second 20 minutes of the game…Tennessee Tech will travel to Evansville for a Saturday afternoon matchup; that game is the first of seven away from the Eblen Center, as Tech does not play at home again until Jan. 5

UT Martin: UT Martin dropped a pair of road games to in-state opponents this week, losing at Lipscomb and Middle Tennessee to see its losing streak extend to four games overall…The Skyhawks were led by freshman Myles Taylor who was named OVC Freshman of the Week for the second time this season…Taylor averaged 15.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals/game while hitting 52.6 percent (10-of-19) from the field in the two games…He scored a career-high 19 points in Saturday’s game at MTSU, while also adding five rebounds and two assists; to begin the week he had 11 points in 24 minutes of action against Lipscomb…Sophomore Mike Liabo was the only other player on the team to score in double figures, averaging 11.5 points/game in the two contests…Jeremy Washington hit double figures against Lipscomb, scoring 12 points while also grabbing seven rebounds…UT Martin is one of just two OVC teams who will play twice this week; the Skyhawks will host Bethel on Tuesday night and then entertain IPFW on Sunday afternoon.

adidas® OVC Players of the Week


Josh Terry, G • Sr., 6-4, 200 • Henderson, KY • Austin Peay

Terry’s huge week helped Austin Peay win two games last week, including its first-ever victory against SEC foe Tennessee, after the team had started the season 0-9. The senior averaged 21.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals/game and hit 60 percent (15-of-25) from the field. In the 86-82 overtime win against Arkansas State he hit 9-of-15 shots and scored 22 points to go along with five rebounds. Terry scored the first two baskets on the extra period and sealed the game with a free throw with two seconds left. Against the Volunteers, Terry played 39 minutes and hit 6-of-10 from the floor and 8-of-10 at the free throw line to tally 20 points to go along with his six rebounds, five assists and four steals. The senior scored 9 of his 20 points in the final 6:27 of the game as the Govs ended the game on a 21-6 run to overcome an 11-point deficit. Terry scored the go-ahead basket with 1:05 to play and then hit the clinching free throw with 2.4 seconds to go. Terry also played the role of defensive stopper, holding Cameron Tatum to just one point (10.5 points below his season average). It marked the first win over an SEC foe for the Governors since the 1991-92 season (Mississippi State).

Others Nominated: L.C. Doss, Eastern Illinois; Jaron Jones, Eastern Kentucky; Brian Williams, Jacksonville State; Donte Poole, Murray State; Leon Powell, Southeast Missouri; Robert Covington, Tennessee State; Kevin Murphy, Tennessee Tech.


Tyler Stone, F • R-So., 6-8, 230 • Memphis, TN • Southeast Missouri

Stone was named OVC Newcomer of the Week for the third time in five weeks this season after averaging 21.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals/game and hitting 60.7 percent (17-of-28) from the field and 72.7 percent (8-of-11) from the free throw line. Stone, a transfer from Missouri, started the week by scoring a season-high 30 points in a loss at Central Arkansas; he is one of just five players in the OVC to score 30 or more points in a game this season. Against UCA he hit 12-of-18 (66.7%) shots and was 6-of-7 (85.7%) from the free throw line while also pulling down eight rebounds and blocking two shots. He followed that with a 12-point, 9-rebound effort at home against UMKC. In that game the sophomore also had an assist and two steals.

Others Nominated: Jonathan Miller, Eastern Illinois; Mike DiNunno, Eastern Kentucky; Tarvin Gaines, Jacksonville State; Marsell Holden Morehead State; Derian Shaffer, SIUE; Kellen Thornton, Tennessee State.


Myles Taylor, F • Fr., 6-7, 250 • Little Rock, AR • UT Martin

Taylor earned his second OVC Freshman of the Week honor of the season after averaging 15.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals/game last week in road games against Lipscomb and Middle Tennessee. Taylor hit 52.6 percent (10-of-19) from the floor and 76.9 percent (10-of-13) from the free throw line. Taylor capped the week by scoring a season-high 19 points in a loss at Middle Tennessee. The freshman hit 6-of-11 from the field and made 7-of-9 free throws in 31 minutes of action. In that contest he also had five rebounds, two assists and a steal. Taylor started the week by scoring 11 points and grabbing four rebounds to go along with an assist and two steals at Lipscomb.Others Nominated: Josh Piper, Eastern Illinois.

Notes From Around the League

OVC Overview/This Week’s Highlights: Murray State is one of nine Division I teams who are currently undefeated on the season (that number is down from 15 a week ago); the others are Baylor, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, Marquette, Missouri, Syracuse and Xavier…As of Monday only the Racers, Illinois and Syracuse have reached 10 wins on the season…After receiving its first national poll votes of the season last week, Murray State jumped into the AP Top 25 at No. 24 on Monday and is unofficially No. 27 in the ESPN/USA Today poll; they are the first OVC team to be ranked since the Racers were No. 25 in the final regular season poll of the 1997-98 season…That ranking came on the heels of topping No. 20/21 Memphis and improving to 10-0 on the season…The 10-0 start is one of just five by OVC teams in the league’s history, and first since Western Kentucky started the 1953-54 season 21-0; it marks the third time Murray State has started a season 10-0 (or better) since joining the OVC in 1948 (the other seasons were 1950-51 and 1951-52)…The win over No. 20/21 Memphis was the first for an OVC team over a ranked opponent during the regular season since Murray State beat No. 12 Arkansas on Dec. 25, 1997; the league has beaten Top 25 opponents in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments (No. 21 Vanderbilt in 2010 and No. 14 Louisville a season ago)…After starting the season 0-9, OVC preseason favorite Austin Peay won twice last week, including winning at Tennessee on Saturday; it was the first win for the Governors against the Vols and first win for APSU over an SEC team since 1991-92…OVC teams are now 2-2 against SEC teams this season…With final exams going on around most campuses this week, the schedule is light, as only nine total games will be played; in fact three teams (Morehead State, Southeast Missouri and SIUE) do not play games this week…Saturday features the first OVC contest of the season as Eastern Kentucky travels to Jacksonville State; that game is one of just two Conference games that will be played prior to the Christmas holiday this year…In previous years (with an 18-game schedule) every team played one or two OVC games prior to the New Year, however, that has changed with the new 16-game slate of Conference games.

Murray State Cracks AP Top 25; Receiving Votes ESPN/USA Today Poll: With a win over No. 20/21 Memphis on Dec. 11, Murray State improved to 10-0 on the season and made its first appearance of the season in the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 poll after receiving votes for the first time on Dec. 5. The Racers are No. 24 in that poll this week (Dec. 12) and are unofficially No. 27 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll (nine points behind No. 25 Vanderbilt). The ranking marks the first time an OVC team has been nationally-ranked since Murray State was No. 25 in the final AP poll of the 1997-98 season (which was released at the end of the regular season).

OVC Teams Beating Ranked Teams: Although the OVC has had recent success against nationally-ranked teams in the NCAA Tournament (Murray State beat No. 21 Vanderbilt in 2010 and Morehead State beat No. 14 Louisville last year), prior to Murray State’s win over No. 20/21 Memphis on Dec. 11, it had been 14 years since an OVC team had beat a nationally-ranked opponent during the regular season. That was when Murray State beat No. 12 Arkansas 94-83 on Dec. 25, 1997 in Puerto Rico.

10-0 Start for Murray State One of Just Five in OVC History: Murray State’s 10-0 start to begin this season is one of just five instances of an OVC school beginning the year at least 10-0 since the league was formed in 1948. It is the first since Western Kentucky started the year 21-0 in 1953-54. The other teams to start a season at least 10-0 are Western Kentucky in 1948-49 (15-0) and Murray State in each 1950-51 (12-0) and 1951-52 (11-0).

OVC Against the SEC: Between the beginning of the 2000-01 season (when Tennessee Tech beat South Carolina) and the 2010 NCAA Tournament (when Murray State beat Vanderbilt) the OVC lost 71-straight games to SEC opponents. A year ago OVC teams were 0-8 against that league but this season has been different with OVC teams going 2-2 against SEC foes. That includes Tennessee State’s win at South Carolina on Nov. 20 and Austin Peay’s victory at Tennessee on Dec. 10.

NCAA Statistical Leaders: In the latest set of NCAA statistical leaders released on Dec. 12, Murray State ranks fifth nationally in free throw percentage (78.6%), seventh in 3-point percentage (43.3%),  17th in steals (9.6/game) and 19th in 3-point percentage defense (25.8%). Eastern Kentucky ranks ninth in fewest turnovers (10.7/game). Individually Southeast Missouri’s Leon Powell is third in field goal percentage (74.6%) while Tennessee Tech’s Kevin Murphy is 19th in scoring (20.8 points/game) and teammate Zac Swansey is 20th in steals (2.6/game). Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan is 14th in 3-point percentage (48.4%), 21st in 3-pointers made/game (3.1) and 29th in scoring (19.8 points/game).

Murray State Ranked in CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll: In the Dec. 5 CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll Murray State was ranked 10th and received one first-place vote. The new poll was not yet available but the Racers are expected to be near the top after topping Memphis and moving to 10-0 on the season. The Racers first moved into the Top 25 on Nov. 28 of this season. Now in its 13th season, the Mid-Major poll is made up of team’s from the following conferences: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Great West, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt and West Coast. It is voted upon by coaches from those conferences, with one coach per conference casting a vote (Eastern Kentucky’s Jeff Neubauer is the OVC representative).

Postseason Success: Not since the late 1980s has the OVC experienced the kind of NCAA Tournament success the program has had in the last three years. After winning NCAA Tournament games in each 1987, 1988 and 1989, the OVC went 20 years without a NCAA victory. That changed in 2009 when Morehead State topped Alabama State 58-43 in front of a record crowd at the Opening Round game in Dayton, Ohio. A year later it was No. 13 seed Murray State who won, topping No. 4 seed Vanderbilt 66-65 when Danero Thomas nailed a buzzer-beater in San Jose. Last season it was Morehead State’s turn again, as the Eagles were seeded 13th and sent to Denver to battle No. 4-seed Louisville. MSU got off to a 15-2 lead nearly eight minutes into the game but trailed 61-59 with 31 seconds to play. On its final possession senior Demonte Harper nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 4.3 seconds remaining to give Morehead State the lead and Kenneth Faried blocked Louisville’s last shot attempt to seal the victory. It marked the third time in OVC history that teams had won NCAA Tournament games in three consecutive seasons (1960-61-62, 1987-88-89 and 2009-10-11). The OVC has never won at least one NCAA Tournament game in four-straight years.

James D. Horne
James D. Hornehttp://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork.com/
James D. Horne began his writing career at the Carrollton Missouri Democrat in 1995, and was the assistant sports editor/writer for the Hammond Louisiana Daily Star for two years.  In 1998, Horne became the Missouri Basketball beat writer for the Columbia Daily Tribune. He joined The Leaf-Chronicle in Oct. 2003 as the lead prep writer and became the Austin Peay beat writer in March of 2005. During his career he won a state association sports writing award at the Daily Star and two while at the Leaf-Chronicle. Originally from Tampa, Florida, Horne earned his B.A in communications from Central Methodist University in Fayette Missouri.

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