1. What happens when the slowest team in the nation plays the 307th slowest team in the nation? You get a 52 possession game. Earlier this season VMI had a 52 possession half, but on Thursday Wisconsin and Savannah State matched that in 40 minutes. The average possession for the game lasted 23.1 seconds. Wisconsin won 66-33 and for the 7th time in 12 games held an opponent below 0.70 points per possession. The Badgers held the Tigers to 34.8% on 2s, no 3s (three attempts), and turned them over on 31% of their possessions.
2. Missouri is now 10-0 after steamrolling a bad Kennesaw State team. Missouri averaged 1.42 points per possession, and now have the third most efficient offense in the nation. They only turned the ball over on 12% of their trips, made 70% of their 2s, and 80% of 25 FTAs. Their weakness all season has been their failure to extend possessions, but against the Owls Missouri grabbed 46.2% of their own misses. Five players scored in double figures including Michael Dixon who scored 18 on just 7 shots.
3. Murray State also continued their perfect season – now 11-0 – with an easy win against Lipscomb. The Racers won 89-65 in a 68 possession game. Their defense still has question marks, but they don’t play a single team in Ken Pomeroy’s top-150 the rest of the way. They really need Memphis to start playing better so that their signature win will look better come Selection Sunday. If the Racers go undefeated in the regular season but fail to win the Ohio Valley Tournament they’ll be an intriguing story. It’s conceivable that they could finish 30-1 with zero games played against RPI top-50 clubs.
4. Don’t look now but St. Mary’s is quietly positioning themselves on the inside. After crushing NC A&T 84-45 in a 68 possession game the Gaels are now 7-1 and should be 9-1 a week from now when they have to make a run through the gauntlet. In the week bracketing Christmas they’ll play Baylor, Missouri State and BYU.
5. Jackson State travelled to Dallas to take on SMU, and entered the game without a win against a Division I opponent. For the first time this year Tevester Anderson’s club managed more than a point per possession (1.02) and walked away with the upset 59-58. Freshman Kelsey Howard had his best game, scoring 27 (45.8% of JSU’s points) which included three FTs in the final 20 seconds to ice the game.