Tennessee Tech (17-15) vs. Morehead State (19-12)
GAME NOTES: Quarterfinal round action of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament kicks off with a clash featuring the fifth-seeded Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles and the fourth-seeded Morehead State Eagles at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville.
The winner of this contest will move on to the semifinal round of the OVC Tournament where the top-seeded Belmont Bruins will be waiting on Friday.
Tennessee Tech took down SIU Edwardsville in the first round of the OVC Tournament Wednesday night, 74-67. The Golden Eagles took down Morehead State in the final regular season-matchup, but lost to the Eagles back on Feb. 15.
Morehead State had an above-average year in the conference standings, finishing with a 10-6 OVC record and with the distinction of the fourth seed in the postseason tournament. The Eagles stumbled through the last three games of the season, losing all three, including a 91-84 setback against Tennessee Tech in the regular-season finale on Saturday.
Morehead State has a 13-game lead in the all-time series against Tennessee Tech, 77-64.
Jeremiah Samarrippas tallied a double-double with 16 points and 11 assists to help lead Tennessee Tech over the SIU Edwardsville Cougars in the first round of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. Dwan Caldwell, Dennis Ogbe and Javon McKay all netted 10 points for Tennessee Tech. Caldwell grabbed a team-high nine rebounds, and Ogbe pulled down five boards of his own in the win.
Ogbe was right on pace with his team-leading 10.8 ppg average Wednesday night, adding a team-high 5.9 rpg during the season. Dwan Caldwell chipped in 10.7 ppg, and Jeremiah Samarrippas added 10.3 ppg. Samarrippas dished out a team- best 4.6 apg. Tennessee Tech's 72 ppg allowed was third best in the conference, but 72.3 ppg offense is ninth-best in the OVC this season. Tennessee Tech was one of two conference teams all season to defeat top-seeded Belmont.
There wasn't much Morehead State could do to stop a powerful and highly motivated Tennessee Tech offense on Saturday. Dwan Caldwell scored a career- high 29 points for the Golden Eagles, who racked up 91 points on Morehead State. Brent Arrington topped Morehead State with 21 points in the loss, hitting 7-of-10 from the free-throw line. Angelo Warner added 17 points with eight rebounds and four steals, while Drew Kelly chipped in 13 points and Kareem Storey contributed 13 with a team-high five assists. The Eagles shot 45.2 percent from the floor in the loss.
Morehead State averaged 77.3 ppg this season, and gave up 72.9 ppg to its opponents. The team was second in the conference in field goal percentage defense (44.8 percent) and had a plus-8.5 rebounding margin to top the OVC. Warner led the team with 17.5 ppg (sixth-best in the conference), followed by Arrington (11.7 ppg), Kelly (10.5 ppg) and Chad Posthumus (10 ppg). Posthumus leads the Eagles and the conference in rebounding at 11.3 rpg, and adds a team-best 25 blocked shots. Storey tops the squad with 152 assists on the season, adding 37 steals.
Tennessee Tech was able to get the better of Morehead State in the most recent contest between the two sides, but fell to the Eagles earlier in February. If Samarrippas, Ogbe and the rest of the Golden Eagles are on point, this will be a great matchup. Having had some time to rest, though, Morehead State will be ready.
GAME NOTES: Quarterfinal round action of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament
kicks off with a clash featuring the fifth-seeded Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles
and the fourth-seeded Morehead State Eagles at Municipal Auditorium in
FACTS & STATS: Site: Municipal Auditorium (9,700) -- Nashville, Tennessee.
Television: OVC Digital Network. Home Record: Tennessee Tech 10-4, Morehead
State 9-5. Away Record: Tennessee Tech 6-9, Morehead State 9-6. Neutral
Record: Tennessee Tech 1-2, Morehead State 1-1. Conference Record: Tennessee
Tech 9-7, Morehead State 10-6. Series Record: Morehead State leads, 77-64.Game Date and Time
Thursday, March 6, 7 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
Morehead State 76, Tennessee Tech 71