SIU Edwardsville (10-15) at Murray State (14-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 13, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: CFSB Center (8,600) -- Murray, Kentucky. Television: None. Home Record: SIUE 9-3, Murray State 10-1. Away Record: SIUE 1-10, Murray State 4-8. Neutral Record: SIUE 0-2, Murray State 0-0. Conference Record: SIUE 6-5, Murray State 9-2. Series Record: Murray State leads, 10-3.
GAME NOTES: After an Ohio Valley Conference showdown with Belmont turned into a loss for the Murray State Racers last Thursday, the OVC West Division leaders got back into the win column Saturday and will try to string a pair together as they host the SIU Edwardsville Cougars in a conference matchup at CFSB Center.
SIU Edwardsville has won two games in a row, and four of its last five games altogether in OVC play. The Cougars are coming off an 84-78 victory over UT Martin on Saturday.
Murray State has lost two conference games all season long, and one of them was to SIU Edwardsville back on Jan. 18. The Racers defeated Tennessee State, 73-65, Saturday to get to 9-2 in the OVC. Murray State leads the West Division of the conference.
The Racers hold the lead in the all-time series with SIU Edwardsville, 10-3. The Cougars however, inched closer to Murray State with a 67-60 win over the Racers earlier this season. At home, Murray State holds a 7-1 advantage.
SIU Edwardsville built a 47-40 halftime lead over UT Martin in the Cougars' last outing, and held on in the second half to earn the six-point victory. Donivine Stewart scored 24 points and dished out a team-high eight assists in the win, while Kris Davis added 21 points and six rebounds. Christian Salecich came off the bench to score 12, as the Cougars shot 56.9 percent from the floor.
Stewart leads the team in scoring this season with a 12 ppg average on 45.3 percent shooting. He's the only SIU Edwardsville player to average double digits, though Davis isn't too far off the pace with 9.1 ppg. Stewart's 4.5 apg average is a team high, along with his 1.4 spg average. Keaton Jackson tops the team in rebounding at 4.8 rpg.
Murray State didn't have much trouble with the previously 3-22 Tennessee State Tigers on Saturday, as the Racers jumped ahead by nine points at the end of the first half. Murray State coasted in the second half en route to the eight- point victory. The Racers did struggle to contain Patrick Miller, who dropped 26 points for the Tigers. But MSU got contributions from multiple players in the win, including a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double from Jarvis Williams. Jonathan Fairell netted 17, Cameron Payne chipped in 16 and T.J. Sapp added 10.
Payne, the highly acclaimed freshman for Murray State, leads the team in scoring at 15.4 ppg with a team-leading 130 assists and 37 steals on the year. He's complemented by guys like Sapp (14.1 ppg) and Williams, who averages a double-double with 14 ppg and 10.5 rpg. Jeffery Moss also chips in 12.6 ppg for the Racers, who average 75.7 ppg this season.
SIU Edwardsville may have gotten the win on its home court versus Murray State this season, but at home the Racers are a much more dangerous squad. Expect a back-and-forth offensive battle, but with the Racers getting significant contribution to earn the win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Murray State 79, SIU Edwardsville 70
02/13 10:20:04 ET