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Ohio Valley Semifinals Preview

March 5, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

Ohio Valley Semifinals Preview

Preview by Toni Jainez

No. 1 Austin Peay Govs vs. No. 4 Eastern Kentucky Colonels
The Govs may have had a close call in the quarterfinals versus the Tigers of Tennessee State, but they still managed to shoot 48% from the field, which is better than their average shooting percentages. APSU allowed TSU to shoot an unheard of 52% from the field; the best an opponent has shot against the Govs all season. Meanwhile, Eastern Kentucky shot a season best 63% from the floor in a win over Samford. The Colonels played very good perimeter defense versus the Bulldogs, only allowing 35% of Samford’s 3-point attempts to drop. Although Austin Peay had swept the Colonels this season by score margins of 6 at home and 17 in Clarkville, the Colonels’ have the shooting ability to give APSU’s defense problems. APSU has won many games by playing better defense that their opponent, but if the Govs allow the Colonels to shoot over 50% from the floor, then they could be looking at their first loss to a conference opponent of the year (APSU only averages 44.3% of their field goals made).

Previous Meetings:
January 15, 2004 – Austin Peay 65, Eastern Kentucky 59
February 28, 2004 – Austin Peay 81, Eastern Kentucky 64

Prediction – Austin Peay 68, Eastern Kentucky 63

No. 2 Murray State Racers vs. No. 3 Morehead State Eagles
Both teams enter this game coming off of 10+ point wins in the quarterfinals. The Racers, who have won six straight, played solidly on both ends of the court, only allowing Tennessee Tech to shoot 43% from teh field. They also outrebounded the Golden Eagles by 14. Morehead State faced a tougher matchup with the Gamecocks of Jax State and after a very hotly contested first half, the Eagles pulled away to win by 14. Morehead State played some of their better defense of the season, only allowing 40% shooting from the field (while shooting 49%). Murray State swept the Eagles by score margins of 14 at home and 22 in Morehead. This game will come down to who plays the best defense (both teams are in the top three in the OVC in defense). If Murray State can stop senior Ricky Minard from exploding for 30-plus points again, then the Racers should march to the championship game.

Previous Meetings:
January 8, 2004 – Murray State 97, Morehead State 75
January 31, 2004 – Murray State 90, Morehead State 76

Prediction – Murray State 86, Morehead State 78

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