Archive | October, 2015

Walden put on waivers by the Celtics

Walden put on waivers by the Celtics

Posted on 27 October 2015 by admin

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BOSTON – The Boston Celtics announced over the weekend that they have waived forward Perry Jones III and guard Corey Walden.

Jones, a 6’11” forward, was originally acquired by the Celtics on July 14, 2015 and averaged 2.0 points and 1.6 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game in five appearances with the team.

Walden, a 6’2” guard was originally signed by the Celtics on September 25, 2015 and averaged .5 points, 1.5 rebounds and .8 assists in 6.9 minutes per game in four contests with the team.

The Celtics roster now stands at 15.

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Volleyball Ready for Test on Road after Sweeping on Homecoming Weekend

Volleyball Ready for Test on Road after Sweeping on Homecoming Weekend

Posted on 26 October 2015 by Bret Shroats

RICHMOND, Ky – Eastern Kentucky (7-18, 6-4 OVC) volleyball travels to UD Arena on Tuesday to face the Dayton Flyers (17-5, 9-0 A10) after winning two critical OVC matches over the weekend.

EKU beat Tennessee Tech (5-18, 3-7 OVC) and Jacksonville State (11-17, 2-8 OVC) over the weekend. On Friday, the Lady Colonels beat TTU 25-21, 25-15, 15-25, 25-14 to extend their winning streak to three games.

Celina Sanks led the Colonel offense with a team-high 13 kills. Ally Peters added 12 kills along with 10 from Rachel Vick making this the second consecutive match three different Colonels recorded 10 or more kills.

Tennessee Tech was led by Cody Dodd’s game-high 15 kills. Kirsten Brugere contributed 13 digs while Sharon Anderson tallied 34 assists for the Golden Eagles.

EKU recorded 47 kills against to Tech’s 39 limiting the Golden Eagles to a .114 hitting percentage.

Volleyball team celebrates.

Volleyball team celebrates.

On Saturday, the Lady Colonels beat the Jacksonville State Gamecocks 25-19, 25-15 and 25-21.

Sanks and Vick led the Colonels’ attack in the win. Sanks finished with a game-high 15 kills as Vick added 10. Peters tallied nine kills along with three blocks.

Looking ahead, the Flyers will put their 15-game win streak on the line when the Colonels enter the Frericks Center. Dayton’s (17-5, 9-0 A10) Alaina Turner leads the Flyers with 340 kills on the season.

Tuesday’s 6 p.m. match will mark the 19th meeting between the teams. The first meeting was in 1972 and the most recent in 2014 which Dayton won 3-0. The series is tied 9-9.

After the match at Dayton, the Lady Colonels will travel to Nashille, Tn, for bog matches against Tennessee State (11-11, 6-4 OVC) and Belmont (11-11, 8-2 OVC). The Lady Colonels can move up in the OVC standings with wins this weekend. Right now EKU and TSU are tied for 4th in the OVC just 3 matches behind leaders Murray State. Belmont and Eastern Illinois are tied for second place in the OVC.

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Thomas named OVC Newcomer of the Week

Thomas named OVC Newcomer of the Week

Posted on 25 October 2015 by admin

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Ethan Thomas,Freshman running back from Johnson City, Tenn., was named OVC Newcomer of the Week after the homecoming game against Tennessee State.
Thomas carried the ball 18 times for 149 yards (8.3 ypc) and a touchdown as No. 13 Eastern Kentucky topped Tennessee State 45-21 to stay undefeated against FCS opponents this season. His touchdown came on an 80-yard run in the second quarter which put the Colonels ahead 17-0. It marked the longest offensive play for the team since 2012 and longest running play since 2007. The true freshman also caught three passes for 27 yards.

 

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EKU Runs Past Tennessee State on Homecoming

EKU Runs Past Tennessee State on Homecoming

Posted on 24 October 2015 by admin

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RICHMOND, Ky. – An impressive offensive showing propelled Eastern Kentucky to a 45-21 win over Tennessee State on Homecoming Saturday at Roy Kidd Stadium.

The No. 13 Colonels (5-2, 4-0 OVC) dominated the offensive side of the ball from start to finish, scoring on six of their first eight drives.  Junior quarterbackBennie Coney had four total touchdowns, three through the air and one on the ground. The Colonels racked up 549 yards of total offense, compared to just 351 by Tennessee State.

On EKU’s opening drive, Coney found senior tight end Ben Madon along the left sideline for an impressive 22-yard completion, setting up excellent field position. On the very next play, junior wideout Devin Borders caught a 12-yard pass to make it 1st-and-10 from the 16. A few plays later on 3rd-and-7, Coney scrambled to find junior receiver Bryan Green wide open in the end zone. That touchdown drive took just 2:02 off the clock while covering 50 yards.

Coney threw an interception on the Colonels’ next drive, but EKU got the ball back after stopping TSU on 4th-and-1 from the EKU 49. Eastern used the short field position to add on more points. Sophomore kicker Lucas Williamsconverted a 30-yard field goal to make the score 10-0.

The following drive, the Tigers marched down the field with ease to make it 1st-and-goal from the nine yard line. On 3rd-and-goal, Kiante Northington made the biggest defensive stop of the game by picking off Ronald Butler’s touchdown attempt.

On the next Colonels’ defensive series, junior Noah Spence recorded a sack on 3rd-and-9, setting up Eastern with the ball on its own 20. The next offensive play, freshman tailback Ethan Thomas found a hole up the middle to break loose for an 80-yard touchdown run to make the score 17-0 going into the half.

The Colonels did not miss a beat coming out of halftime. On the opening drive of the third quarter, Coney connected with Green from the EKU 35 for a 45-yard pass on 3rd-and-4. A Joel Brown reception a couple plays later made it 1st-and-goal.  This led to a Green touchdown catch to give the Colonels a 24-0 lead.
The Colonels found the end zone three more times: A 12-yard rush by Coney, a four yard pass by Coney to Borders, and an 11-yard rush by senior Jared Sanderslate in the fourth quarter.

A Trey Thomas interception with 1:09 in the fourth quarter ended the Homecoming victory in style.

Coney finished 27-of-41 for 292 yards.  Green led the Colonels in receiving with nine catches for 122 yards. Eastern was led in rushing by Thomas, who had 18 carries for 149 yards and one touchdown.

The Colonels dominated the running game, outrushing Tennessee State 148-21 in the first half, and 256-129 overall.

The defensive combo of Thomas and sophomore Kobie Grace led the Colonels with nine tackles each. Spence and seniorMarquise Piton each recorded a sack for Eastern.

Quarterback Ronald Butler was 23-of-37 for 222 yards for Tennessee State (3-4, 0-4 OVC)

The Colonels travel to Jacksonville State next Saturday to face the No. 1-ranked Gamecocks. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.

NOTES
Eastern Kentucky is ranked No. 13 in the STATS.com Poll and No. 14 in the FCS Coaches Poll.  The Colonels play at No. 1 Jacksonville State next Saturday, Oct. 31.

EKU has won nine straight Homecoming games and is 12-4 in those games since 2000.

Redshirt junior Noah Spence entered the game leading the nation with an average of 2.0 tackles for a loss per game and fourth in FCS with 1.17 sacks per game.  He finished Saturday’s game with two tackles for a loss, including one sack.

The Colonels now have 21 sacks this season and have only allowed five.

EKU entered the game having scored on an OVC-best 89.7 percent of its trips inside the red zone.  However, on Saturday the Colonels scored on “only” 75 percent (6-of-8) trips inside the red zone.

Including today’s game against Tennessee State, EKU had out-scored its opponents at Roy Kidd Stadium this season 148-44.

Eastern has out-scored its opponents 51-21 in the first quarter this season and 135-51 in the first half.

EKU came into the game leading the OVC and 11th in the nation with just six turnovers lost this season.  Eastern had just one turnover against TSU.

Tennessee State entered the game third in the OVC allowing 25.7 points per game.  EKU scored 45 points.

Eastern Kentucky leads the all-time series with Tennessee State 23-5 and the Colonels are now 14-2 against the Tigers in games played in Richmond.

Redshirt junior slot receiver Bryan Greencaught a 13-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.  He has caught a scoring toss in three straight games.  He added a 6-yard scoring reception in the third quarter for his fourth of the season.

An 80-yard touchdown run up the middle by freshman Ethan Thomas in the second quarter was the longest offensive play of the season for the Colonels and the fourth rushing touchdown of the season for Thomas.

The 80-yard Ethan Thomas touchdown run was the longest offensive play for the Colonels since an 84-yard pass by T.J. Pryor on Oct. 13, 2012.  It is the longest rushing play since Bobby Washington ran for a 99-yard touchdown on Oct. 27, 2007 at Murray State.

Redshirt junior Kiante Northington’s second quarter interception in the end zone was his second pick of the season and the fourth of his career.

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Defying Expectations

Defying Expectations

Posted on 22 October 2015 by Bret Shroats

Richmond, Ky – The Eastern Kentucky soccer team with very low expectations surrounding them. The OVC voted EKU to finish in 9th place of the OVC. It all started on August 4th when Melissa Barnes, the second head coach in program history, suddenly stepped down. That gave interim coach Andrew Fleming just nine days to prepare for their first scrimmage against Big South champions in Mercer. EKU would shockingly win that game 1-0. Earlier that day the OVC held their annual Media Day and had picked EKU to finish 9th. That means only Tennessee Tech and Eastern Illinois were picked to finish below the Colonels.

After that scrimmage vs Mercer, EKU would struggle before winning another game. Eastern Kentucky (3-13, 3-5 OVC) would start the season 0-9 before getting their first win in the regular season against Austin Peay.

Junior Cassie Smith

Junior Cassie Smith

Luckily for the Lady Colonels what happens outside of OVC play does not impact their OVC tourney play. The Colonels have been on a defensive tear in the last month. EKU has surrendered only two goals in its last four conference games, one of those goals came in overtime against SEMO and the other goal came in the 77th minute vs SIU-E. In those games EKU has picked up 6 points to put them in a tie with University of Tennessee-Martin for the last spot in the OVC tourney. By the way, Eastern Kentucky defeated UT-M 2-0 during this defensive stand.

If the Lady Colonels win out they may still not make the OVC Tourney. UT-M has 3 games left in OVC play vs the 2 that the Lady Colonels have.

Now the Lady Colonels have a chance to win two games this weekend and put pressure on a UT-M team that has struggled in recent times. Two wins this weekend will put the Lady Colonels at 5-5 in OVC play something that at the beginning of the season no one outside of the team thought would be possible.

This EKU Lady Colonels soccer team has shown the fight and pride that should make the Maroon Nation proud. Get out to EKU soccer stadium Friday at 4:00 PM and show how much we appreciate the fight this Lady Colonels team has shown during the 2015 season.

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Lady Colonels picked sixth in OVC; Hunter and Murray named to Pre-Season OVC team

Lady Colonels picked sixth in OVC; Hunter and Murray named to Pre-Season OVC team

Posted on 20 October 2015 by admin

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn.  – SIUE has been picked to win the 2015-16 Ohio Valley Conference women’s basketball title in a preseason poll of the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. The Cougars earned 226 points, including 10 first-place votes while UT Martin is selected to finish second with 213 points garnering 10 first-place nods. Belmont picked up three first-place votes and 202 points. Jacksonville State is selected to finish fourth with 176 points while Tennessee State rounds out the top five earning one first-place vote and 168 points. Eastern Kentucky is picked to finish sixth with 122 points while Morehead State is selected to finish seventh with 111 points. Rounding out the poll are Austin Peay (109), Eastern Illinois (88), Murray State (71), Tennessee Tech (62) and Southeast Missouri (33).

SIUE is coming off a season in which it went 19-12 overall and 13-3 in the OVC en route to finishing second. The Cougars earned the No. 2 seed in the OVC Tournament and fell to Tennessee State in the semifinals. Paula Buscher enters her fourth season as the helm of the Cougars and will have four starters back from last year’s squad. Among the starters returning are redshirt senior Shronda Butts. The Des Moines, Iowa native was named the 2015-16 OVC Preseason Player of the Year after averaging 15.6 points and 3.2 assists to rank among league leaders. Sophomore forward/center Gwen Adams will also be back this season after starting 29 of the 31 games she played last year. Adams, a native of Ferguson, Mo., recorded 11.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in 2014-15.

UT Martin went 22-11 overall and 16-0 in the OVC to win its fourth OVC regular-season title. The Skyhawks became the sixth OVC team to go undefeated in league play and just the second squad to post a 16-0 conference mark. UT Martin fell to Tennessee State in the OVC Championship game in overtime. The Skyhawks earned the league’s automatic bid to the WNIT tournament and lost to Ole Miss in the first round. Kevin McMillan, the reigning OVC Coach of the Year, enters his seventh season as the head coach at UT Martin and will have three starters back from last year’s team along with 10 newcomers. Among the players returning is redshirt junior guard Jessy Ward. The Clarksville, Tenn., native will be the team’s top returning scorer as she put up 10.9 points per game last year. She also recorded 73 rebounds, 74 assists and 35 steals in 2014-15. Senior Katie Schubert will also be coming back this season after recording 7.1 points and 4.2 rebounds each time out last year.

Belmont finished in a fourth-place tie last year after going 14-17 overall and 10-6 in the OVC. The Bruins earned No. 4 seed in last year’s OVC Tournament and fell to No. 1 UT Martin in the semifinals. Head coach Cameron Newbauer enters his third year with Belmont and will have junior forward Frankie Joubran and sophomore center Sally McCabe back from last year’s team. A native of Detroit, Mich., Joubran is the team’s top returning scorer after recording 11.0 points per game last season. She also brought down 8.8 boards each time out. McCabe, a product of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., played in all 31 games for the Bruins. She recorded 8.8 points and 5.6 rebounds each time out as a freshman.

The 2014-15 regular-season beings on Nov. 13 with Conference play starting Dec. 31. Nine different teams have won a regular-season title with Tennessee Tech leading the way with 18.

2015-16 All-OVC Preseason Women’s Basketball Team

The 2015-16 Preseason All-OVC team is headlined by SIUE redshirt senior guard Shronda Butts who was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year after earning All-OVC first team and All-Newcomer honors last year.

The preseason squad features players from nine different teams. Eastern Kentucky is the only team that has multiple selections. Austin Peay, Belmont, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Murray State, SIUE, Tennessee Tech and UT Martin each have one honoree.

Butts was an All-OVC first team and All-Newcomer pick last year. The Des Moines, Iowa native led the team and ranked among league leaders with 15.6 points and 3.2 assists per game in 2014-15. She was also second on the team and in the OVC with an 81.7 free throw percentage. Butts made 45.0 percent of her field goal attempts while also recording 35 steals.

Earning Preseason All-Conference honors this year after being named to the All-OVC teams last season were Austin Peay’s Tiasha Gray (21.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Eastern Kentucky’s Shameekia Murray (14.0 ppg, 46.4 FG%), Jacksonville State’s Destany McLin (12.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Tennessee Tech’s Samaria Howard (15.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg).

Rounding out the preseason squad are Belmont’s Sally McCabe (8.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg), Eastern Kentucky’s Michaela Hunter (14.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg), Morehead State’s Shay Steele (13.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Murray State’s Ke’Shunan James (15.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and UT Martin’s Jessy Ward (10.9 ppg, 40.2 FG%).

2015-16 OVC Women’s Basketball Predicted Order of Finish
(Selected by OVC Head Basketball Coaches and Sports Information Directors)
1. SIUE (10 first-place votes) – 226 points
2. UT Martin (10 first-place votes) – 213
3. Belmont (Three first-place votes) – 202
4. Jacksonville State – 176
5. Tennessee State (One first-place vote) – 168
6. Eastern Kentucky – 122
7. Morehead State – 111
8. Austin Peay – 109
9. Eastern Illinois – 88
10. Murray State – 71
11. Tennessee Tech – 62
12. Southeast Missouri – 33

(*Schools were not allowed to rank their own team. 11 points awarded for a first-place vote, 10 for second, etc.)

2015-16 Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Team
(Selected by OVC Head Basketball Coaches and Sports Information Directors)
Tiasha Gray, Austin Peay*
Shronda Butts, SIUE*%
Destany McLin, Jacksonville State#
Samaria Howard, Tennessee Tech#%
Shameekia Murray, Eastern Kentucky#%
Michaela Hunter, Eastern Kentucky
Ke’Shunan James, Murray State%
Shay Steele, Morehead State
Sally McCabe, Belmont
Jessy Ward, UT Martin%

Preseason OVC Player of the Year: Shronda Butts, SIUE

* – 1st team All-OVC in 2014-15
# – 2nd team All-OVC in 2014-15
% – OVC All-Newcomer team in 2014-15

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Belmont picked to win OVC; Colonel picked to place third in East division

Belmont picked to win OVC; Colonel picked to place third in East division

Posted on 20 October 2015 by admin

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – In a vote of Ohio Valley Conference head men’s basketball coaches and sports information directors Belmont has been picked the preseason favorite for the 2015-16 season.

Belmont, the defending OVC Tournament Champions, picked up 21 of 24 first-place votes in being picked the preseason favorites as overall regular season champions. The Bruins were also tabbed the East Division favorites, picking up 22 of 24 first-place votes in that category, while defending regular season champion Murray State was picked the West Division favorites.

In the overall champion voting, in addition to Belmont picking up 21 first-place votes, other teams with first-place votes included UT Martin (2) and Murray State (1).

Since Belmont was picked as the overall champion, they were also an overwhelming favorite to take first place in its own division; the Bruins have finished first in the East in each of the first three years of divisional play. Belmont received 132 total points to top the East and were followed by Morehead State (1 first-place vote and 105 points), Eastern Kentucky (1 first-place vote and 88 points), Tennessee Tech (67), Jacksonville State (52) and Tennessee State (48).

Murray State picked up 15 of 24 first-place votes and 125 points in being picked the West Division favorite while UT Martin received the other nine first-place votes and 115 points in being tabbed second. The West was rounded out by Eastern Illinois (88), Southeast Missouri (72), Austin Peay (57) and SIUE (35).

In each of its first two seasons in the OVC Belmont claimed the regular season championship. A season ago they finished tied for first in the East Division and after a tiebreaker were the No. 3 seed in the OVC Tournament; the Bruins won three games in three days to claim the 2015 OVC Tournament title, which was its second in three years in the League. This year Belmont returns four starters and 11 total players from that team including OVC Preseason Player of the Year Craig Bradshaw. Bradshaw is the OVC’s leading returning scorer (18.3 points/game) and last season also ranked in the Top 10 in the OVC in steals (1.6/game), assists (3.1/game), 3-point percentage (42.3%) and 3-pointers made/game (2.7). Also back is preseason All-OVC selection Evan Bradds, who led all Division I players in field goal percentage (68.8%) a season ago, and junior guard Taylor Barnette who hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the end of the OVC Championship victory over nationally-ranked Murray State (which earned him Tournament MVP honors).

A year ago Murray State became just the fifth team in OVC history to complete an undefeated Conference season as they were a perfect 16-0. The Racers won 25 games in a row, breaking into the Top 25 polls in the process, before losing on a last second shot in the OVC Tournament championship game. The team missed out on an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament but won two games to advance to the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) before losing to Old Dominion on a desperation half court shot at the buzzer. The Racers lost four starters from that team including NBA Lottery Pick Cameron Payne who is now with the Oklahoma City Thunder. First-year head coach Matt McMahon (who was an assistant coach with the program for the last four years) does return senior forward and preseason All-OVC selection Jeffery Moss (11.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists/game last season) and welcomes several key newcomers including Texas transfer Damarcus Croaker and junior college point guard Bryce Jones.

Although Murray State was picked the West Division favorite, the voters also took notice of a UT Martin team that far exceeded expectations a year ago under then first-year head coach Heath Schroyer. The Skyhawks entered the 2014-15 season picked last in the West Division but instead finished second, winning 21 overall games, netting a winning record for only the fourth time at the Division I level and advancing to the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). This year Schroyer has a pair of preseason All-OVC players on his team in senior guard Alex Anderson (12.5 points/game and ranked third nationally in 3-point percentage at 48.0%) and senior forward Twymond Howard (13.6 points, 6.6 rebounds/game). That duo, both new to the team a season ago, helped the Skyhawks to the fourth-best win improvement nationally in their debut season.

Eastern Illinois was one of a record five OVC men’s basketball teams to participate in national postseason tournaments a season ago. The Panthers earned an invitation to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) and topped Oakland on the road before losing at home to eventually champion Evansville (the team that also eliminated UT Martin from the event). The victory over Oakland was the first in a Division I national postseason tournament in program history. EIU has made steady improvement in each of Jay Spoonhour’s three years as head coach, going from six to seven to nine Conference victories a season ago. This year he returns three starters, two of who were named to the preseason All-OVC team in senior swingman Trae Anderson and sophomore point guard Cornell Johnston. Anderson led Eastern Illinois in scoring in his first season with the program, averaging 13.0 points/game while hitting 48.2 percent from the field. Johnston set a new OVC single-season record for 3-point percentage (51.9%) while establishing the EIU record for assists by a freshman (156).

Rick Ray, who was the head coach at Mississippi State for the past three years, takes over as the head coach at Southeast Missouri State this season. Ray has seven players returning from last year’s team including preseason All-OVC selection Antonius Cleveland. The junior averaged 10.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists/game in 30 contests a season ago. Also back is Isiah Jones, the lone senior on the Redhawks team for 2015-16; Jones averaged 9.8 points and 3.1 rebounds/game last season. The Redhawks have qualified for the OVC Tournament field in each of the past five years but have not advanced past the quarterfinals during that time period.

Austin Peay will look to get back into the OVC Tournament field for the first time since 2012 as head coach Dave Loos, the winningest coach in OVC history, begins his 30th season as a head coach and 26th season with the Governors. Loos is one of just six Division I active coaches to be at the same school for 25 or more seasons. APSU has three starters back from last year’s team including preseason All-OVC selection Chris Horton. The senior center enters his final year in Clarksville ranked No. 2 in OVC history in blocked shots (262). A season ago Horton averaged a double-double with 13.1 points and 11.1 rebounds/game, becoming the first Austin Peay player to average a double-double since the 1990-91 season. Also back is sophomore guard Josh Robinson who averaged 9.9 points/game and knocked down 44 3-pointers during his rookie campaign.

SIUE begins its first season under head coach Jon Harris, who returns to his hometown for his first head coaching job. Harris, who played collegiately at Marquette, has been an assistant coach at several schools including the last three stops with Cuonzo Martin at Missouri State, Tennessee and California. Harris has six players back from last year’s team although those six players combined for just two starts during the 2014-15 season. Among the returning players is sophomore guard C.J. Carr who played in 28 games a year ago and averaged 6.2 points and 2.2 assists/game.

Morehead State begins its fourth season under head coach Sean Woods who has led the Eagles to back-to-back 10-6 OVC marks and berths in the OVC Tournament semifinals. Woods has six returning players this season and welcomes nine newcomers to the squad. Among the returning players is senior guard Brent Arrington who was a preseason All-OVC selection. Arrington started all 34 MSU games a season ago and ranked third in the OVC in steals (1.91/game) while averaging 11.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per contest.

Eastern Kentucky, who tied for first in the OVC East last year and lost to eventual champion Belmont in the OVC Tournament semifinals, begins its first season under head coach Dan McHale. McHale inherits six returning players from last year’s team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). That marked the sixth national postseason tournament appearance for the program over the last 11 years, including three years in a row (a first in program history). Among the returning players is senior guard Ja’Mill Powell and junior guard Isaac McGlone. Powell started 22 games a season ago and averaged 8.2 points and 1.9 rebounds/game while McGlone was fifth in the OVC with 1.7 steals/game and 14th with 2.6 assists/game in 28 starts.

Tennessee Tech has eight players back as the program begins year number five under head coach Steve Payne. Among the returning players is senior guard Torrance Rowe who ranked third on the TTU team in scoring last year, averaging 11.4 points/game. Rowe knocked down a team-high 52 3-pointers in starting all but one game during the 2014-15 season. Also back is senior guard Josiah Moore (8.9 points, 4.9 rebounds/game) and sophomore guard Aleksa Jugovic (5.8 points, 2.0 assists/game).

Jacksonville State will play this season in the newly renovated Pete Mathews Coliseum which received its first major facelift since 1987. The venue, which opened in 1974, saw a multi-million dollar set of upgrades including a new playing surface and new seating among the amenities. Among the players head coach James Green has back this season include senior guard JaQuail Townser (7.9 points, 3.3 assists/game) and sophomore guard Malcolm Drumwright (6.0 points, 1.6 assists/game).

The youngest head coach in Division I basketball, Dana Ford, returns for year number two with Tennessee State. A season ago he inherited a squad with just one returning player; this year he has five returning players including three who were starters in 2014-15. Those returning starters include senior forward Demontez Loman (4.8 points, 5.7 rebounds/game), sophomore forward Christian Mekowulu (8.0 points, 5.3 rebounds/game) and sophomore guard Darreon Reddick (7.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists/game). Also back is senior guard Marcus Roper who was a super-sub last year in averaging 10.0 points/game off the bench.

The 2015-16 season kicks off with an exhibition contest on November 2 while the first regular season games will be played on Friday, Nov. 13. The 2016 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament will be held March 2-5 at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

2015-16 Preseason OVC Men’s Basketball Predicted Order of Finish
Overall OVC Champion: Belmont (21 first-place vote)
Other Teams Receiving Overall First-Place Votes: UT Martin (2), Murray State (1).

East Division
1. Belmont (22 first-place votes) – 132 points
2. Morehead State (1) – 105
3. Eastern Kentucky – 88
4. Tennessee Tech – 67
5. Jacksonville State – 52
6. Tennessee State – 48

West Division
1. Murray State (15 first-place vote) – 125 points
2. UT Martin (9) – 115
3. Eastern Illinois – 88
4. Southeast Missouri – 72
5. Austin Peay – 57
6. SIUE – 35

2015-16 All-OVC Preseason Men’s Basketball Team

The 2015-16 OVC Preseason Men’s Basketball team is headlined by Belmont senior Craig Bradshaw who was named the OVC Preseason Player of the Year.

Bradshaw is the first Belmont player to be tabbed Preseason Player of the Year since the Bruins joined the league prior to the 2012-13 season.

Overall seven different schools were represented on the team with Belmont, Eastern Illinois and UT Martin having two selections apiece while Austin Peay, Morehead State, Murray State and Southeast Missouri each had one selection. The squad features three players who were either first or second-team selections last season and three players who were selected to the 2014-15 OVC All-Newcomer Team. The team is comprised of seven seniors, two juniors and a sophomore.

Bradshaw was a first-team All-OVC selection last season in leading the Bruins to a share of the East Division and he also claimed OVC All-Tournament honors after helping his team to its second OVC Tournament title in three years. Bradshaw averaged 18.3 points (3rd in the OVC), 1.6 steals (7th) and 3.1 assists/game (9th) while also hitting 42.3 percent from 3-point range (6th) and connecting on 2.7 3-pointers made/game (2nd).

In addition to Bradshaw the others who were named All-OVC selections last year were Belmont junior forward Evan Bradds (14.2 points, 7.2 rebounds/game, a Division I best 68.8 FG%) and Eastern Illinois senior swingman Trae Anderson (13.2 points, 4.9 rebounds/game). Anderson was also an All-Newcomer pick a year ago.

The Preseason All-OVC team is rounded out by UT Martin senior guard Alex Anderson (12.5 points, 2.4 rebounds/game, 94 made 3-pointers) and senior forward Twymond Howard (13.6 points, 6.6 rebounds/game), Morehead State senior guard Brent Arrington (11.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.9 steals/game), Southeast Missouri State junior guard Antonius Cleveland (10.8 points, 4.8 rebounds1.8 assists/game), Austin Peay senior center Chris Horton (13.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocks/game), Eastern Illinois sophomore guard Cornell Johnston (9.1 points, 4.7 assists/game, 51.9% from 3-point range) and Murray State senior forward Jeffery Moss (11.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists/game).

2015-16 Preseason All-OVC Men’s Basketball Team
Alex Anderson, UT Martin
Trae Anderson, Eastern Illinois
Brent Arrington, Morehead State
Craig Bradshaw, Belmont
Evan Bradds, Belmont
Antonius Cleveland, Southeast Missouri
Chris Horton, Austin Peay
Twymond Howard, UT Martin
Cornell Johnston, Eastern Illinois
Jeffery Moss, Murray State

Preseason Player of the Year: Craig Bradshaw, Belmont

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Spence & Wrzuszczak Honored By OVC

Spence & Wrzuszczak Honored By OVC

Posted on 18 October 2015 by admin

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Defensive lineman Noah Spence and punter Keith Wrzuszczak were honored by the Ohio Valley Conference after helping the Colonels to a 27-10 road victory over Southeast Missouri. Spence was chosen as the OVC Defensive Player of the Week. Wrzuszczak garnered OVC Specialist of the Week honors.

Spence anchored a defense that limited Southeast Missouri to only 52 yards of offense in the second half. SEMO finished with just 191 total yards, including a mere 31 on the ground. The redshirt junior from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania finished with seven tackles (3.5 for a loss) and 1.5 sacks. He has at least one sack in every game this season.

Spence ranks first nationally in tackles-for-loss per game (2.0), fourth in sacks per game (1.17) and 18th in forced fumbles per game (0.33).

Wrzuszczak averaged 45.5 yards on his four punts against Southeast. However, it was his arm that helped put the game away for the Colonels. With EKU up only 17-10 late in the third quarter and facing a 4th-and-9, the sophomore rolled out to punt, but instead threw to Barton Mann for 16 yards and a first down. Eastern would cap the drive with a touchdown that put the game away. One of his four punts went for 52 yards.

On the season Wrzuszczak ranks 10th nationally in punting (43.5 ypp).

The Colonels will host Tennessee State for Homecoming on Saturday. Kickoff at Roy Kidd Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.
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Jack Adams passed away

Jack Adams passed away

Posted on 13 October 2015 by admin

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Former Eastern Kentucky University basketball player Jack Adams has passed away today. Adams, a three-time All-Ohio Valley Conference performer at Eastern, established 13 school records during his career. At the close of his senior year, his famous No. 40 jersey was retired, the first to be so honored in the school’s history. He is currently listed as the ninth leading scorer in Eastern history with 1,460 points, an average of 20.6 per game. Adams was also one of the founding members of the Eastern Kentucky University Athletics Hall of Fame.

An AAU All-American in 1959, when he made the All-Army team and participated in the Pan American Game in Chicago, he was known as “the world’s travelingest basketball player” in 1960 when he toured the U.S.S.R. with the State Department sponsored American team, and later journeyed to the Cleveland Pipers of the AAU National Basketball league from June 1960 to January 1962.

He was elected Most Valuable Player of the year for the Pipers in the 1961-62 season and also was named the MVP of the AAU Tournament that season. He also played professionally with the New York Tapers of the American Basketball League and averaged 18 points per game.

Upon graduation from Eastern in 1956, he served three years as a Regular Army officer in the field artillery. He earned his masters degree at Eastern and his doctorate at the University of Kentucky.

Adams served Eastern as assistant basketball coach from 1962-67 and head tennis coach from 1963-72, and Professor of Physical Education.

After retiring from Eastern in 2000, he was very active in real estate in Madison County and currently served as owner and broker of one of the longest serving real estate firms in the county, Jack Adams Properties. Jack was a member of First Baptist Church of Richmond.

Survivors include his wife Barbara J. Ball Adams; one son, Greg Adams; one daughter, Stacey Adams Kelley (Mike), all of Richmond. He is also survived by one brother, Harold Adams; one sister, Jean Dotson; sisters-in-law, Wilma Adams, Hazel Adams, and JoAnn Howard (Frank); two grandchildren, Jack Nolan Kelly and Shannon Jane Kelly, as well as a host of nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by four brothers, Edwin, Bill, Ray, and George Mack Adams and two sisters, Mary Rose Ginger and Irene Adams.

Service will be conducted at 11:00 A.M. Thursday, October 15, 2015 at First Baptist Church, Richmond, with Pastor Bill Fort officiating.

In lieu of flowers donations suggested to the Telford YMCA or the Alzheimer’s Association.

Oldham, Roberts & Powell Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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Coney named OVC Offensive Player of the Week.

Coney named OVC Offensive Player of the Week.

Posted on 11 October 2015 by admin

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With his performance against Tennessee Tech, Colonel quarterback Bennie Coney was named OVC Offensive Player of the Week.
Coney, a junior from Plant City, Fla. , completed 32-of-46 passes for 351 yards and five touchdowns in the 48-17 victory over Tennessee Tech on Thursday. The five touchdowns passes tied the EKU single-game record and doubled his output from the first four games of the season combined. He led the nationally-ranked Colonels on scoring drives on each of its first seven possessions as EKU led 41-10 at halftime. In the first half alone Coney completed 21-of-29 passes for 257 yards and four touchdowns including a 70-yard strike to Arien Beasley less than a minute into the game. The five passing touchdowns are the most by an OVC quarterback against a Division I opponent this season; he now ranks 18th nationally in touchdown passes on the year (10).

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