Morehead State (14-16) at Tennessee Tech (11-17) (ET)
GAME NOTES: A possible berth in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament will be on the line for the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles as they host the Morehead State Eagles at the Eblen Center for a regular-season finale.
Tennessee Tech is 4-11 in OVC action, which puts it in 10th place among playoff eligible teams. However, the Golden Eagles trail the three-way tie between Eastern Illinois, Tennessee-Martin and SIU Edwardsville by just one game. The Golden Eagles need to win and hope EIU and UTM both lose to gain entry into the conference tourney.
Morehead State clipped TTU, 65-63, in the first segment of the season series on Feb. 16 as Angelo Warner put in a game-winning layup in the closing seconds. The victory improved Morehead State to 76-62 all-time versus the Golden Eagles which includes wins in nine of the last 10 encounters.
Morehead State is locked into the No. 5 seed in the OVC Tournament and will play the still to be determined No. 8 seed in the opening round. The Eagles may be a little fatigued after outlasting Tennessee State for a 101-100 victory in a shootout in Thursday. Morehead State has played three overtime sessions and averaged 93.3 points per game over the span of its last three outings. In the victory over TSU, the Eagles set new season-highs in makes (15) from beyond the arc and 3-point field goal percentage (.600).
Warner was responsible for a third of the made triples versus TSU as he led the charge with 23 points. Milton Chavis added 19 points and Devon Atkinson added 16 points and eight assist to help Morehead State (14-16, 8-7) snap a two-game skid. The Eagles managed to survive and never trailed despite being outscored, 30-12, at the charity stripe. Bruce Reed and Bakari Turner also got into the mix by netting 10 points apiece while Chad Posthumus grabbed 10 boards. Chavis is averaging 11.1 ppg to pace a group of eight Eagles that scores 6.2 ppg or more. The collective effort has led to a scoring offense average of 72.7 ppg, which is the 60th best mark among Division I programs.
The hosting Golden Eagles have not found the 2012-13 campaign to be nearly as fruitful as the visitors, as they enter at 11-17 overall. TTU is coming off of a 69-54 loss to Eastern Kentucky that ended a four-game run of home wins. Jud Dillard has been the heart and soul of the unit with averages of 19.2 points and 7.8 boards per contest, but none of his teammates are nearly as productive. Dennis Ogbe is second in both categories with 10.2 points and 5.4 boards per tilt.
Dillard extended his streak of 20-plus point finishes to three games on Thursday versus EKU as he went 7-of-16 from the field to tally 21 points, which he accompanied with eight boards. Dillard also swiped four steals but he and Lanerryl Johnson (14 points) were both guilty of six turnovers. TTU held a 31-17 edge in the rebounding battle, but it was not enough to overcome its ice cold, 12-of-22 showing at the charity stripe. TTU allowed the Colonels to hit on 51 percent of their field goal tries and hand out 14 assists to just eight turnovers. The Golden Eagles are being outscored by an average of 2.8 ppg by their opposition partially due to their poor field-goal percentage (0.426) and league-worst accuracy rating (.315) from beyond the arc.
Morehead State does not have as much at stake as the hosts. TTU will be playing with desperation as its season is on the line, but it will have its hands full with the red-hot Eagles, who still want to maintain their momentum for a run at the conference crown.
GAME NOTES: A possible berth in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament will be
on the line for the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles as they host the Morehead
State Eagles at the Eblen Center for a regular-season finale.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: Eblen Center (9,282) -- Cookeville, Tennessee.
Television: None. Home Record: MSU 10-5, TTU 8-5. Away Record: MSU 4-11, TTU
3-12. Neutral Record: MSU 0-0, TTU 0-0. Conference Record: MSU 8-7, TTU 4-11.
Series Record: Morehead State leads, 76-62.Game Date and Time
Saturday, March 2, 8:30 p.m. (et)Predicted Outcome
Morehead State 80, Tennessee Tech 77