JSU, Murray State meet in OVC semis
Jacksonville State (24-8, 16-3) vs. No. 2 seed Murray State (25-4, 16-2)
Ohio Valley Conference Tourney Semifinals, Ford Center, Evansville, Indiana; Friday, 10 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: A spot in the OVC championship game is on the line as Jacksonville State and Murray State are set to do battle. The only regular season meeting came on Jan. 31, when the Gamecocks shot 58.1 percent from the field while holding Murray State’s shooters to just 40 percent en route to the 20-point victory.
BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: Murray State’s Ja Morant has averaged 24.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 10.3 assists while Shaq Buchanan has put up 13.3 points and 4.1 rebounds. For the Gamecocks, Jason Burnell has averaged 17 points and 9.6 rebounds while Marlon Hunter has put up 12.8 points.
FUELING THE OFFENSE: Morant has accounted for 57 percent of all Murray State field goals over the last five games. Morant has 38 field goals and 58 assists in those games.
UNDEFEATED WHEN: Murray State is a perfect 21-0 when its defense holds opponents to a field goal percentage of 44.6 percent or less. The Racers are 4-4 when allowing opponents to shoot any better than that.
PASSING FOR POINTS: The Racers have recently converted buckets via assists more often than the Gamecocks. Murray State has 66 assists on 102 field goals (64.7 percent) across its previous three games while Jacksonville State has assists on 53 of 99 field goals (53.5 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: Murray State is ranked second among OVC teams with an average of 83.8 points per game. The Racers have averaged 91 points per game over their last five games.