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Ohio Valley Notebook

January 15, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Ohio Valley Conference Notebook

by Stephen Murphy

“Went to my car to get a crow bar and saw my gun there and I took it. But it had no clip or anything”.

– Former Tennessee State head coach Nolan Richardson III

Stay Home Nolan!!

So much for my theory of the apple falling far from the tree in Tennessee…this Apple hit every single branch in on the way down and nestled into a location very close to its ancestral other. Of course I’m talking about Nolan Richardson III. Things were unnecessary in Nashville after a disagreement with assistant Hosea Lewis after only three players showed up for Christmas practice. Here is his statement to the police “Went to my car to get a crow bar and saw my gun there and I took it. But it had no clip or anything. He acknowledged to police that he had brought a .38-caliber handgun from his car into Gentry Center. I guess in Richardson land its safe to assume if you miss a foul shot, expect a hand grenade. He said in his statement he found assistant coach Christopher Graves outside the gym, and they talked and left. Bringing a weapon on the campus violates Tennessee law and is grounds for immediate dismissal along with fighting. According to the report, the incident started when only four Tigers showed for practice Christmas night. Richardson was upset more players did not attend, and he blamed it on a misunderstanding by assistant coach Hosea Lewis. Richardson told campus police Lewis hit him with a gym bag, which contained some chain for a scoreboard. “Then he said, ‘come on.’ Then I said, ‘OK, I’ll be back,”’ Richardson wrote in his statement to police.

This came amid reports that The NCAA was investigating the program for rules violations under Richardson. The inquiry involved allegations of impermissible practice out of season, providing extra benefits to recruits and unethical conduct by a coach.

Richardson was 23-41 since he was hired at Tennessee State in April 2000. He played two seasons at Oklahoma State and was an assistant under his father at Arkansas from 1991 to 2000. Tennessee State shot 50 percent from the field, but host Tennessee Martin converted 67 percent of its attempts on its way to handing the Tigers a 104-86 loss Saturday night. The Tigers made 32-64 shots from the floor, but UT Martin took the lead less than two minutes into the contest and was able to stay ahead with its consistent shooting in each half. Junior guard Garrett Richardson led the Tigers with 20 points while senior Willie Hendricks, hit all five field goal attempts and finished with a season-high 11 points. Arvid Caldwell also scored 11 points. UTM had five players score in double figures. Joey Walker led the way with 26 points. Interim coach Hosea Lewis will help the Tigers try to tread water with a 2-10 record. The Tigers will continue on the road with a trip for a non-conference game at Georgia State Monday night.

Governors Re-elected

Corey Gipson nailed a three-pointer with 0.6 seconds left Saturday to boost the Govs to a 66-63 win at Murray State. It was the Govs first win at Murray since 1996 and pushed their overall record to 8-5 while evening their Ohio Valley Conference mark at 1-1. The Govs trailed by five with just over tow minutes before rallying behind a trio of three pointers by Rhet Wierzba, and a go-ahead one by Maurice Hampton and finally Gipson’s to win it. It was an emotional win for the Gov’s this after Adrian Henning and Anthony Davis each scored 17 to lead Austin Peay to an 82-58 victory over visiting Westminster. Before Westminster Lit it up with 24 of his career-high 26 points in the second half as their zone “D” perplexed Eastern Washington and the Govs won the consolation game of the Oneida Bingo & Casino Classic, 77-69, Saturday. Wierzba’s two consecutive three pointers boosted APSU from a one-point lead to seven with just fewer than five minutes left. Wierzba was named to the all-tourney team. Meanwhile, Igor Macura came off the bench to provide a 10-point lift. The Govs, who open OVC play with four straight road games, are 1-1, with a total of five points being the difference. APSU fell at Tennessee-Martin, 66-64, with junior guard Corey Gipson missing a chance to win or tie in the closing seconds. However, the Govs were able to win at Murray State, this time with Gipson nailing the game winning three-pointer with 0.6 seconds left. Gipson held MSU’s Chris Shumate, who had scored 19 points through the first 31 minutes, scoreless in the final nine after a defensive assignment switch. On Thursday, he helped hold UTM’s Earl Bullock to one-of-13 from the field… The Govs nearly cut in half the number of turnovers they committed at Martin (18) in beating Murray State. Austin Peay had only 10 turnovers in the win – the fewest number of turnovers they have committed this season. Against Murray, the Govs were just one-of-nine from three-point range in the first half before going 7-of-11 in the second half… Josh Lewis tied his career-high with six blocks against Martin while setting his career-best with four steals. Maurice Hampton the freshman stepped up his play as he scored 11 points in the second half at MSU. The Gov’s concentrate in the state of Tennessee this week with games at T-Tech, and T-State.

Eastern Illinois

Rick Samuels’ Panthers dropped two road games to fall to 1-2 in league play. This was after putting together a two-game winning streak. EIU has lost six of its last eight games. On Thursday losing 75-71 at flaming hot Morehead State, and 94-85 at Eastern Kentucky on Saturday. After ranking as the nation’s leading scorer when NCAA stats were released last week, senior guard Henry Domercant scored 19 points in the loss at Morehead, then posted 30 at EKU. He has scored 30 or more points six times so far this season. Jan Thompson, who has been out with a shoulder separation since Dec. 20, is expected back this week. Now is the time for the Panthers and Domercant to step up, as they will now play eight of their next nine games at home, beginning with games against Murray State and Tennessee-Martin this week.

Eastern Kentucky

The Colonels rebounded for a big 94-85 win over Eastern Illinois Jan 12th, after falling 93-77 against Southeast Missouri. Eastern found their touch, shooting 60% percent in the win over Eastern Illinois, this Despite Shawn Fields playing with bruised shoulder. Fields scored 20, and 19,in Eastern’s two games last week. He was 17-for-30 from the field and also had eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. Sophomore forward Michael Haney had a season high 27 points in win over EIU. Junior Forward/Center Charles “Champ” Slaughter hit nine-of-14 from the field and had 12 rebounds and six blocked shots in the two games last week. EKU earned a salute by out rebounding EIU by six; this after Southeast Missouri State handled EKU on the boards in their game prior. Junior guard Mike Scott has a badly bruised right hand, which limited his play to 13 minutes vs. SEMO and 17 minutes vs. Eastern Illinois. Eastern plays at Tennessee Tech on Tuesday, then hosts Morehead State on Saturday.

Morehead State

The Eagles are playing solid ball, taking a pair of games against Eastern Illinois and Southeast Missouri, to move to an impressive 4-0 in OVC play. MSU has now won four in a row, with Ricky Minard leading the way. Minard led MSU with 27 points in the win over Eastern Illinois, hitting eight-of-14 from the field, including six-of-seven three-pointers, and five-of-five from the line. He also had 11 points in only 25 minutes in MSU’s win over Southeast Missouri. Chez Marks had 39 points in MSU’s two games. He led the Eagles with 26 points against Southeast Missouri. He hit 15-of-28 from the field and was four-of-11 from behind the arc. MSU won its 900th and 901st games in school history with its two victories last week. The Eagles step play host to Independent IPFW on Tuesday, then return to league play with a game at Eastern Kentucky on Saturday.

Murray State

Murray State started off conference play on a high note with a 74-62 win over Tennessee Tech in a rematch of last year’s conference title game. The time to rejoice did not last too long however, as Austin Peay claimed its first win at Murray since 1996 in a 66-63 decision. MSU had four players score in double digits in the win over Tech. Antione Whelchel, scored 14 in that game and 13 more in the loss to Austin Peay. Chris Shumate scored 19 points in the APSU game on Saturday, all in the first 31 minutes of the game. James Singleton has passed Popeye Jones on Murray State’s all-time blocked shots list. Singleton, who has 92 career blocks, is now sixth on the list. MSU is 1-1 in Ohio Valley play, and 8-5 overall.

Southeast Missouri State

The Indians and head coach Gary Garner could not draw up a game plan to stop Henry Domercant. Henry lit up SEMO, scoring 35 points on 14-of-17 shooting, pacing Eastern Illinois to a 85-75 victory over Southeast Missouri in the Ohio Valley Conference opener for both teams. Domercant, who scored 21 of his points in the second half, hit all five of his 3-point field-goal tries and also had six assists. Jesse Mackinson added 18 points and David Roos 12 for Eastern Illinois Southeast claimed its first Ohio Valley Conference victory of the season, dropping Eastern Kentucky with a 93-77 win. They then dropped a 77-63 decision at Morehead State. Sophomore guard Derek Winans tallied 21 points in the loss at Morehead and 10 more in the win over EKU. Sophomore guard Brett Hale had 27 points in the win at Eastern Kentucky, and Brandon Griffin had career-high 15 rebounds against EKU and nine more at Morehead. Freshman Cole Grapperhaus got his first career start against EKU. Southeast returns home to host UT Martin on Thursday and Murray State on Saturday.

Tennessee Martin

When I think of T-Martin, I think gridiron, and national championship. I think of the long touchdown pass to Peerless Price, and the Volunteers completing what Peyton Manning could not: an undefeated season, a victory over Florida, a SEC championship, and a National Championship. But this is Tennessee Martin, this is college hoops, and this is Ohio Valley basketball, and these are the Skyhawks. The Hawks got three wins in six days last week, including OVC victories over Austin Peay, and Tennessee State. Dating back to last season UTM has now won eight home games in a row. Senior Joey Walker, who missed Monday’s win over Concordia due to injury, led all scorers in the win over APSU with 20 points. He also had six boards and three blocks in the game. Walker a 6-5 forward also lit up TSU, he led all scorers with 26 and 12 boards. Transfer J.C. Howe also had a spectacular week, scoring 19 in each of the wins over Concordia and Austin Peay. He had a double double in the APSU game with 12 boards. In the win over TSU, he scored 18 points and had five assists, four rebounds and four steals. UT Martin plays at Southeast Missouri and at Eastern Illinois in conference action this week. With his outstanding performances, Joey Walker was named Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the second time this season. After sitting out Monday’s game against Concordia with tendonitis in his knee. Walker earned his first Player of the Week honor Nov. 25 after he helped lead the Skyhawks to a win over Conference USA foe, Saint Louis.

With three wins last week, the Skyhawks sport a 9-4 overall record and a 2-0 OVC worksheet. The Skyhawks return to action Thursday, Jan. 16 when they travel to Southeast Missouri State for a league contest.

Tennessee Tech

Tech has lost four of its last five games, going to 0-2 in conference play with a 64-52 loss at Murray State last week. The Murray State Racers frontline capitalized TTU’s frontline and carried the Racers to a 64-52 win over the Golden Eagles. Damien Kinloch led the Golden Eagles with 18 points, six boards. Senior Damien Kinloch scored 29 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in two games last week while playing in only 45 minutes of the two contests. He was 12-of-17 from the field, with two assists, two blocks and four steals, while playing in only 45 minutes of the two contests. Transfer Will Moore came off the bench to score 20 points last week, with a season-high 12 at Murray State. He shot 80 percent from the field in the two games. Freshman Milone Clark got back-to-back starts last week, putting up 10 points and pulling down six rebounds. He had eight assists in the win over Bryan early in the week. Tech tries to get back on the winning track with home conference games against EKU on Tuesday and Austin Peay on Thursday. Tech has lost four of its last five games. Tech tries to get back on the winning track with home conference games against EKU on Tuesday and Austin Peay on Thursday.


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