Under Cards Are Amazing
(St. Louis, MO) – In UFC events there are the title bouts and then the undercards. In both the Missouri Valley and Ohio Valley Conferences one team is the headliner or the ‘reigning champ’. In the MVC, Wichita State is top dog and rolling over the opposition. In the OVC, Belmont is clearly the cream of the crop.
But last night, the ‘undercards’ were spectacular.
Evansville At Southern Illinois
Two teams battling to stay close enough to give Wichita State a run for its money squared off in a packed out SIU Arena. Evansville (18-4, 7-2) came from bedhind, forced overtime and escaped with a 85-78 road win over SIU (18-4, 7-2).
The Valley’s two leading scorers didn’t disappoint either. Southern’s Anthony Beane scored 30 points and Evansville’s D.J. Balentine answered with 25, including a game tying three-pointer to send the game into the extra session.
SIU led by 13 points in the first half, and limited player of the year candidate Egidijus Mockevicius to 10 points, but saw Mislav Brzoja fill the gap with a career high 25 points. The Salukis led by three with 4.9 seconds left, but Balentine’s heroics changed everything.
Evansville Head Coach Marty Simmons likened the game to ‘a heavyweight fight.’ Balentine told Daniel Allar of the Evansville Courier & Press, when he made the buzzer beating shot, he knew they would win in overtime.
“I looked at Adam (Wing) and said, ‘We got this,’” Balentine said.
According to Todd Hefferman of the Southern Illinoisan, SIU head coach Barry Hinson instructed his team to foul rather than allow a three-point attempt, but his players failed to execute.
Tennessee State At Tennessee Tech
Two teams chasing Belmont in the OVC East Division squared off in Cookesville, Tennessee and fans were not disappointed in that gym either. The home town Golden Eagles of Tech (15-7, 7-2) edged the Tigers of State (14-6, 5-2) 81-79.
Torrance Rowe made two free throws with .5 seconds left for the winning margin. Rowe was fouled shooting a three-ball and after an official review determined there should still be time on the clock, Rowe was able to take the game deciding shots.
Hakeem Rogers led the Eagles with a career high 23 points ant Ryan Martin recorded a double-double (17 points & 14 rebounds). Keron Deshields scored a career high 37 points, including the Tigers’ last 11 points in the loss.
The push to the madness (Arch Madness 2016 & Music City Madness 2016) is on and it’s the best time of the year.