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Ohio Valley Conference Rundown: Belmont wins, but mixed results on opening night for Valley teams

Belmont was one of several OVC teams to pick up nice wins, while others faltered badly.

Evan Bradds had a big-time opening night for Belmont who was on the road at Marquette to open the year.
Evan Bradds had a big-time opening night for Belmont who was on the road at Marquette to open the year.
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Eleven Ohio Valley Conference teams played on the opening day of the college basketball season with some emerging with a bit more of a shine about them than others. There were also some pretty discouraging results. Let's jump right into it.

Belmont at Marquette

Don't call it an upset, even on the road. The Bruins 83-80 win on the road against a Big East team is plenty of reason to be excited, don't get me wrong. But this is the type of power conference team that Belmont SHOULD beat. The Bruins were able to keep Henry Ellenson from completely going off in his much-hyped first collegiate game, but he was still able to post a stat line of 21 points and 16 rebounds. No matter as Evan Bradds and Craig Bradshaw combined for 42 points, with Bradds coming through for clutch buckets, and defensive plays down the stretch to help Belmont escape a rallying Golden Eagles squad. Nick Smith and his 14 points (albeit on 14 shots) were instrumental in the win.

Eastern Illinois at Indiana

The Panthers weren't much of a test against a high-and-mighty No. 15 Indiana team. Trae Anderson and A.J. Riley led the way for the Panthers who fell behind quickly and were down 49-17 at the half. Being out-rebounded by a 51-17 margin doesn't help either. It was likely that the Panthers' frontcourt would struggle even with Anderson, but this...this wasn't pretty. IU won 88-49.

Austin Peay at Vanderbilt

The Commodores of Vanderbilt jumped out to a 21-0 lead to start their season and in effect made a mockery out of the visiting Austin Peay Governors on day one, 80-41. This was another one that was unkind to the OVC. No. 18 Vanderbilt made mince-meat of the visiting Governors. Big guy Chris Horton was never able to get on track for AP, netting just seven points on 3-for-14 shooting, though he did grab 14 boards.

Jacksonville State at Central Michigan

The visiting Gamecocks were able to stay in contention with #3MU up until the very end thanks largely to the efforts of Malcom Drumwright whose big night of 26 points led the way in the 89-83 loss. He was complemented by Jared Hamilton's 16 points. Meanwhile, Rayshawn Simmons and Braylon Rayson combined for 58 points in the absence of what many would say is the MAC's best player in Chris Fowler.

Southeast Missouri State at Dayton

No surprises here for the Redhawks. They fell on the road to Dayton 84-53 with the Flyers led by Ryan Mikesell's efficient 21 points. The 'Hawks starters struggled (looking at you Antonius Cleveland and Isiah Jones), while Marcus Wallace led the way with 12 points.

Eastern Kentucky at home against Coppin State

What a great offensive night to start the season for the Colonels under the direction of new coach Dan McHale. EKU earned a 107-80 victory over visiting Coppin State, led by the performances of 5 double-figure scorers. Jarelle Reischel (21), JaVontae Hawkins (19), and Ja'Mill Powell (18) led the scoring for EKU.

Tennessee State at Loyola (Md.)

Led by the standout effort of Wayne Martin (27 points, 21 rebounds), the Tigers looked remarkably better in their first game than they did much of last season. TSU's 87-81 victory came by pulling away with a 50-point second half and assisting on 14 buckets.

Morehead State at home against Cincinnati Christian

The Eagles got their season of to a nice start with an 87-51 win over NAIA squad CCU. Lots of guys filled it up in the point column for MSU so it'll be a wait and see approach to find out who will take over as a primary scoring option. Brent Arrington was that guy on this day with 14 points.

Tennessee Martin at Oklahoma State

The visiting Skyhawks sustained a disappointing 91-57 loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Coach Heath Schroyer's crew will have to improve upon a performance in which it shot 37.5 percent from the floor. Jacolby Mobley (19 points) and Twymond Howard (12 points) seemed to offer the only resistance to the dominant Cowboys.

Murray State at home against Harris Stowe

Mark this up as a cake walk. Murray State 105, Harris Stow 55. DeMarcus Croaker (21 points) and Gee McGhee (20 points) led the way for the Racers in Matt McMahon's first game as head coach.

SIU-Edwardsville at home against Arkansas State

A nice win for the Cougars in game one, pulling away from the Red Wolves in the second half to win 79-70. It was Jon Harris' first win as a head coach. Jalen Henry led the way with 18 points.

Tennessee Tech gets its shot to get in on the action against Piedmont this (Saturday) evening. Look for these recaps on OVC basketball on a weekly basis.