Murray State (2-4) at St. Mary's-CA (5-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 11 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McKeon Pavilion (3,500) -- Moraga, California. Television: CSN-Bay. Home Record: Murray St 2-1, SMC 5-0. Away Record: Murray St 0-3, SMC 0-0. Neutral Record: Murray St 0-0, SMC 0-0. Conference Record: Murray St 0-0, SMC 0-0. Series Record: SMC leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The Saint Mary's Gaels welcome the Murray State Racers to McKeon Pavilion to take part in the annual Shamrock Office Solutions Classic on Saturday night.
Murray State enters the contest looking to snap a two-game slide. The most recent of those defeats came at home to Middle Tennessee on Tuesday, 80-62. The Racers' only two victories thus far both came at home against NAIA schools Brescia and Bethel (TN).
Meanwhile, Saint Mary's is off to a 5-0 start on its season-opening, seven- game homestand. Most recently, the Gaels claimed a 72-55 win over Alcorn State on Sunday evening. Three of their five wins have come against teams picked to win their respective conferences.
SMC went to Kentucky for a nationally-televised BracketBusters matchup two years ago in a game that Murray State won, 65-51.
The Racers were thoroughly dominated in front of their home crowd by Middle Tennessee earlier this week. They allowed the Blue Raiders to shoot 54.8 percent from the floor, while also being out-rebounded, 44-27. The Racers' struggles even extended to the free-throw line, where they converted only 15- of-26 attempts (.577). Dexter Fields knocked down 4-of-7 3-pointers and finished with 12 points to pace four players in double figures in the loss. Tyler Rambo and Cameron Payne scored 11 apiece, while Jarvis Williams tallied 10 points and nine rebounds. Through six games, Murray State continues to try and find its way without All-American guard Isaiah Canaan, a second-round pick in this year's NBA Draft. Williams has assumed the lead role, averaging 13.8 points and 10.7 boards.
For Saint Mary's, preseason All-WCC forward Brad Waldow has enjoyed a breakout season with averages of 17.6 points and 7.6 rebounds through five games. Joining him in double figures are Stephen Holt (12.2 ppg), Beau Levesque (11.0 ppg) and James Walker III (10.6 ppg). Defensively, the Gaels have held foes to 40.1-percent shooting from the floor and 26.1 percent from beyond the arc. They have also enjoyed a +8.4 rebounding margin and a +13.8 scoring margin. They limited Alcorn State to 37.7-percent shooting in their most recent contest, and also held a huge 49-23 edge on the boards. Kerry Carter provided a spark off the bench with 15 points and eight rebounds to lead three Gaels in double figures.
Murray State has not faced a particularly high level of competition thus far, while Saint Mary's has knocked off a few tough contenders in its non-league slate. Look for the Gaels to tack on another home victory here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saint Mary's 79, Murray State 67
11/30 10:35:03 ET