FACTS & STATS: Site: Ellis T. Johnson Arena (6,500) -- Morehead, Kentucky. Television: Racer Television Network. Home Record: Murray State 9-2, Morehead State 10-4. Away Record: Murray State 7-4, Morehead State 3-10. Neutral Record: Murray State 2-1, Morehead State 0-0. Conference Record: Murray State 9-4, Morehead State 7-6. Series Record: Murray State leads, 104-47.
GAMES NOTES: Struggling through a two-game slump, the Murray State Racers will end a three-game road trip against the Morehead State Eagles in an Ohio Valley Conference battle at Ellis T. Johnson Arena.
The Racers have begun to slip in the OVC after consecutive losses to SIU Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois. The Racers still have a solid 18-7 mark overall on the season, while 9-4 in league play. This is the final game on the road for Murray State, which is 7-4 away from home on the season. Murray State begins a three-game homestand to wrap up the regular season beginning with an intriguing non-conference bout with South Dakota State.
Morehead State has picked up wins in back-to-back contests after edging out Tennessee Tech, 65-63. The Eagles' recent winning trend as them reaching back towards .500 overall (13-14), while climbing up the OVC standings at 7-6. Morehead State has earned 10 of its wins at home this season but will play its final three games of the regular season on the road with the first trip to face Oakland.
Murray State has won three of the last four contests between the two schools and has dominated the all-time series with 104 wins in 151 total matchups.
Murray State had a slow start and didn't get enough stops on defense in a 79-70 loss to Eastern Illinois on Saturday. The Racers shot just 41.7 percent from the field, though they did knock down 15-of-39 shots from beyond the arc. Meanwhile the Racers allowed the Panthers to put in 55.8 percent of their shots from the field.
Backcourt play keeps the Racers going on offense led by Isaiah Canaan. The 6- foot-1 guard (20.6 ppg, 4.2 apg) is the leading scorer in the conference as well as one of the top 10 players in the conference in assists. Stacy Wilson (13.6 ppg) is another double-figure scorer in the backcourt. In the paint Ed Daniels (13.4 ppg, 10.4 rpg) has played extremely well by shooting 56.7 percent from the floor. Daniel also is the only player in the conference averaging a double-double on the season, while leading the OVC in rebounds. As a team the Racers are scoring 71.7 points per game on just under 45 percent shooting though they rank third worst in the league in assists (12.4 pg).
Angelo Warner got a layup to fall with nine seconds remaining to lift Morehead State over Tennessee Tech. The game had 11 ties and 11 lead changes. The Eagles outscored the Golden Eagles, 40-20 in the paint and forced a game-high 19 turnovers in the win.
Though they are scoring just over 70 points per game as a team the Eagles don't have a ton of prolific individual scorers. Milton Chavis (10.3 ppg) and Warner (10.2 ppg) are the only double figure scoring threats on the roster but also among nine players putting in at last five points per game. However Chavis missed the last game and had failed to score in double figures in four of the last five contests. Devon Atkinson (7.4 ppg, 5.0 apg) isn't a great scorer but plays the most minutes per game (28.5) for the Eagles while ranking second in the OVC in assists. On defense Morehead State is also giving up right around 70 points per game while teams shoot 45.4 percent from the field.
With its superior scoring options on the floor and Chavis' status uncertain for Morehead State, Murray State has enough offensive punch to put an end to its losing skid.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Murray State 71, Morehead State 66
02/20 11:02:02 ET
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