Austin Peay: The Governors’ men’s basketball team continued its hot streak this week, earning two more victories on the road at SIUE on Jan. 19 and Eastern Illinois on Jan. 21. Senior Melvin Baker and junior Jerome Clyburn played huge roles in these last two victories, with Baker scoring 19 points versus SIUE and 10 against EIU, while Clyburn added a season-high 7 assists on Thursday and dropped 18 points on Saturday. The Governors return to the court tonight at Southeast Missouri.
Eastern Illinois: Two Eastern Illinois teams were recognized nationally in rankings this week: the men’s indoor track and field team and women’s basketball. The Panther track and field team is currently ranked ninth in the USTFCCCA Midwest Region, ahead of several Big 12 teams. At first place in the OVC, the Panther women’s basketball team is ranked 18th in the nation in the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major Top 25 poll. EIU will look to improve on their 6-0 conference record and 15-4 overall record this Saturday at Jacksonville State.
Eastern Kentucky: Former Eastern Kentucky football player Antwaun Molden will hit one of the biggest stages in sports in two weeks, playing in Super Bowl XLVI in two weeks as a member of the New England Patriots. Molden, a three-year cornerback (2005-07) with the Colonels, has played in all 18 games for the Patriots this season, racking up 36 tackles and two interceptions. EKU won the OVC title in 2007, Molden’s senior season.
Jacksonville State: The Gamecocks had their first alumni appearance in the NBA this past week, when former JSU basketball player Walker Russell made his debut with the Detroit Pistons last Friday. Russell, who played for the Gamecocks from 2003-06, played 20 minutes with 3 points and one rebound in the Pistons loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. He had previously spent five seasons in the NBA Development League. As a Gamecock, Russell was a two-time All-OVC selection and scored 1,182 points on his career.
Morehead State: The Eagle football team earned prestigious academic honors this week, with 32 players being named to the 2011 Pioneer Football League Academic Honor Roll. The list includes all players from the league’s 10 institutions to earn a 3.0 GPA or higher. Morehead’s list was topped by senior halfback Ronnie McDermott with a perfect 4.0 GPA last semester. For the full list of honorees, see this link on MSUEagles.com.
Murray State: One Racer women’s basketball player is on the brink of history. Junior guard Mariah Robinson is only 36 points away from reaching 1,000 points on her career, averaging 15.8 points per game so far this season and shooting 80 percent from the free throw line. She would be the 18th Racer to reach 1,000, and could reach the mark in less than 80 games on her career.
Southeast Missouri: Redhawk baseball player Trenton Moses was predicted to reclaim his OVC Player of the Year title by College Sports Madness last week. The website named him Preaseason OVC Player of the Year, which adds to his Third Team Preseason Lousiville Slugger All-American honor in December. Last season, Moses batted .395 on the season will 11 home runs and 53 RBIs. The Redhawks will open their season at Dallas Baptist in Dallas, Texas on Feb. 17.
SIUE: Both men’s and women’s OVC Basketball Freshmen of the Week went to SIUE Cougars this week: Kris Davis for the men and Katie Hempen for the women. Both Davis and Hempen are averaging 13 points per games for their respected teams. Davis ranks second in the NCAA with a .581 three-point shooting percentage, while Hempen dropped 17 points in the Cougars’ last victory over Austin Peay.
Tennessee State: The OVC office would like to extend its congratulations to TSU associate head athletic trainer Patrice Elder for receiving the Tennessee Athletic Trainers’ Society Backbone of the Year Award. The award, which Elder received last Sunday, is given to individuals who display significant and enthusiastic loyalty to their programs, their student-athletes and their coworkers. Elder has served in her role with the Tigers since 2007. Congratulations, Patrice!
Tennessee Tech: TTU’s Basketball Alumni Day will be held on Feb. 25 when the Golden Eagles take on Murray State, during which several TTU championship teams will be recognized. The 20th anniversary of the 1991-92 women’s team and 25th anniversary of the 1986-87, both of which won OVC titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, will be honored, as well as a ten-year look back at the 2001-02 men’s and women’s teams and the 1981-82 women’s OVC championship team. For more info, check out TTUsports.com.
UT Martin: The Skyhawk rifle program has signed two incoming freshmen this week, both of whom are expected to contribute right away in the 2012-13 season. Nikki Lee Kroll, from Lowber, Pa., and Sean O’Brien, from Voorhies, N.J., both have trained at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and competed in the NRA National Championships. Both Kroll and O’Brien are the reigning air rifle champions in their home states and plan to major in pre-med at UT Martin.