We’re finally at the point in the OVC Tournament where four teams are remaining, all of which are chomping at the bits to bring home some hardware back to their respected campus. As expected, in the top half of the bracket, we see Southeast Missouri State advancing through Tennessee State on Thursday night to play Murray State on Friday night with a birth in the Championship game on the line.
On the bottom half of the bracket, you will find Morehead State edging out Tennessee Tech and the Golden Eagles to advance to Friday’s matchup with Belmont.
So how did we get to the point with all four top-tier teams advancing to the Semi-Final round?
Well, for starters, Murray State earned a double-bye with a crazy 18-0 regular-season record.
Southeast Missouri State advanced to Friday after dominating Tennessee State on Thursday night 79-55. From the Opening Tip to the Final Buzzer, SEMO pushed the Tigers of Tennessee State to the absolute brink of destruction. Early in the game on Thursday night, SEMO established dominance with a ridiculous rebounding outing before eventually outrebounding Tennessee State 47-32, which was the crucial piece in the win on Thursday night. Not to mention, SEMO had Eric Reed, who shot the lights out of the gym, finishing with 22 points. Helping Reed out was Manny Patterson, who finished the night with a double-double with 19 points on ten rebounds.
As far as the matchup between Murray State and SEMO goes on Friday night, Murray State has the talent advantage on paper, but when these two teams met last weekend, it came down to the wire with the Racers edging out by two points, 70-68. In that previous game against Murray State, SEMO was forced to 17 turnovers.
In the postgame press conference following the Tennessee State win, Head Coach Brad Korn said his guys, ” Would be ready for a dog fight against Murray State on Friday night,” and they would be expecting to take the Racers’ best shot.
In the bottom half of the bracket, Belmont earned the double-bye by finishing in second place behind Murray State and will play Morehead State on Friday night for the right to play in the Championship.
Morehead State came into Thursday night with a tough matchup against a scrappy Tennessee Tech, but the boys from Morehead, Kentucky, got the win by pulling away in the second half.
Morehead State was led by Johni Broome, who finished the night with 15 points, with two other teammates, Skyelar Potter and Jaylon Hall, scoring 14 points each. Morehead State also finished the night by outrebounding Tennessee Tech 41-33.
Morehead State played a stifling defensive game holding Tennessee Tech to just 56 points.
Morehead State and Belmont met twice this season, splitting both games, leaving Friday night at the rubber match for all the marbles and spot in the OVC Championship game on Saturday night. Folks around the OVC Conference believe that Morehead State holds a slight advantage over Belmont, but the Bruins have an extra day of rest to prepare for another war on Friday night.