Murray State remains undefeated in OVC

Jehad Abbed, Assistant Sports Editor

Murray State University has a perfect 9-0 record in Ohio Valley Conference play while most teams are coming into the last few games of the regular season.

Eastern is 7-3 against conference opponents in the likes of Belmont University, which is 7-2 on the year. Eastern is the second best team in the OVC when it comes to defending the 3-point shot. They are holding conference opponents to just above 30 percent from the 3-point line. The Panthers have won 11 of their last 14 games.

Murray State has the best overall record amongst OVC teams at 19-4.  The Racers are led by sophomore guard Cameron Payne, who is averaging 19.2 points per game on 46 percent shooting. Payne has managed to rack up 50 steals over 23 games.

Belmont University has the second best overall record among OVC teams at 15-7. Bruins’ junior guard Craig Bradshaw is the conference’s top scorer putting up 19.5 points per game. The OVC’s second top scoring offense in Belmont is recording more than 73 points per game.

Eastern Kentucky (12-9) boasts the third most points per game in OVC play with 71.1 points.  The Colonels are shooting a conference best from the free-throw line at almost 77 percent.

Morehead State University has a 5-4 OVC record with losses to Murray State, University of Tennessee-Martin, Eastern Illinois and Eastern Kentucky.  Morehead is second in the OVC in steals with just under nine per game.

Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville has dropped five of its last eight games dropping to 5-5 against OVC teams.  The Cougars are 9-12 overall and led by senior guard Kris Davis who averages 14.6 points per game.

Senior forward Jarekious Bradley leads Southeast Missouri State University with 15.8 points per game. The Redhawks are 4-5 in the OVC and 10-12 overall.  They are the fourth best field goal percentage defense in the league and are allowing teams to shoot just 42 percent this season.

Tennessee-Martin has improved to 5-3 in the conference after winning five of its last seven games. The Skyhawks hold the No. 2 spot in the OVC in field goal percentage making more than 46 percent of their shots.

Tennessee State University is 2-6 in the conference with an overall record of 5-18. Tigers’ freshman guard Michael Tucker was named the conference’s top freshman of the week. Tucker averages 11.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

Austin Peay State University has lost seven of its last 10 games. The Governors are 7-15 overall, but have a 2-6 record in the OVC. They are one of just three teams in the conference posting a negative average scoring margin on the season.

Tennessee Tech University and Jacksonville State University both have the worst conference records at 2-8. Tennessee Tech has one more win and two less losses than Jacksonville overall. The Gamecocks are the worst shooting team in the conference making below 37 percent of their shots.

Eastern, like most of the OVC, has just six games left in the regular season. All games are against conference opponents – three of which are rematches with teams accounting for the Panthers’ only losses within the OVC.

Jehad Abbed can be reached at 217-581-2812 or [email protected].