Jacksonville State at Murray State
|Date & Time||Friday March 8, 2019, 10:00 PM (EST)|
Murray State Racers -5
The Jacksonville State Gamecocks and Murray State Racers will square off at the Ford Center in the Semifinals of the OVC Men’s Tournament this Friday night.
The 3-seed Jacksonville State Gamecocks had all they could handle from the 7-seed UT Martin Skyhawks, however, Jacksonville State was able to advance in the OVC Men’s Tournament after defeating the Skyhawks by an 88-81 margin last night. Jacksonville State trailed by a 43-33 margin at halftime, however, the Gamecocks were outstanding offensively in the 2nd half and pulled away late for the victory after taking an 81-73 lead with 2:05 left in regulation. Jacksonville State shot 51.7% from the field and outrebounded UT Martin by a 36-27 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Gamecocks was Jason Burnell who had 19 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, and 3 steals.
On the season, Jacksonville State is averaging 77.8 ppg on 46.0% shooting from the field. The Gamecocks are averaging 6.1 three-pointers per game on 31.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Jacksonville State has been led by Jason Burnell (17.0 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 2.9 apg), Marlon Hunter (12.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.0 spg), Ty Hudson (10.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.6 apg), and Jamall Gregory (9.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.9 apg, 2.1 spg).
Defensively, Jacksonville State is holding their opponents to average 68.6 ppg on 41.0% shooting from the field. The Gamecocks have a rebound margin of 6.3 and a turnover margin of 1.7.
The Murray State Racers finished their regular season with an overall record of 25-4 and earned the 2-seed in the OVC Men’s Tournament after finishing conference play with a 16-2 record. Murray State has one of the best college basketball players in the country in Ja Morant and come into the conference tournament riding a 9-game winning streak in which their last 5 victories all came by double-digits. Murray State has been solid on both sides of the ball this season as the Racers come into this game ranked 59th in scoring offense, 91st in FG%, and 99th in scoring defense.
On the season, Murray State is averaging 77.8 ppg on 46.0% shooting from the field. The Racers are averaging 6.1 three-pointers per game on 31.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Murray State has been led by Ja Morant (24.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 10.3 apg, 1.9 spg), Shaq Buchanan (13.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.9 spg), Tevin Brown (11.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.1 spg), and Darnell Cowart (10.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg).
Defensively, Murray State is holding their opponents to an average of 67.7 ppg on 40.8% shooting from the field. The Racers have a rebound margin of 3.7 and a turnover margin of 2.4.
The Gamecocks are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 neutral site games and 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The Racers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Jacksonville State defeated Murray State in their only match-up this season as the Gamecocks won by an 88-68 margin at home in late January.
Jacksonville State often gets overshadowed by Belmont & Murray State in the OVC, however, the Gamecocks are not a team that should be taken lightly as Jacksonville State won the OVC in the 2016-17 season and went a combined 3-0 agianst Belmont & Murray State this season. Murray State has been solid on both ends of the court this season as they rank in the top-100 in about every category outside of three-point shooting and showed that they have the talent to compete against almost anyone in near victories agianst Alabama & Auburn earlier this season. Murray State has had a great season, however, Jacksonville State has also been solid on both ends of the court as they rank 59th in scoring offense & 99th in scoring defense and as I think the Gamecocks have a knack of giving tough teams trouble, I think Jacksonville State will be able to keep it close enough to at worst, cover with he points. Good Luck!