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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dunn Center (9,000) -- Clarksville, Tennessee. Television: Racer Television Network. Home Record: Murray State 4-2, Austin Peay 3-2. Away Record: Murray State 5-1, Austin Peay 0-7. Neutral Record: Murray State 2-1, Austin Peay 1-3. Conference Record: Murray State 2-1, Austin Peay 0-2. Series Record: Murray State leads, 75-41.
GAMES NOTES: After ending a losing streak last time out, Austin Peay will attempt to earn back-to-back wins for the first time this season when the Governors host the Murray State Racers in an Ohio Valley Conference battle at the Dunn Center.
After dropping just a single game in OVC play last season, Murray State is 2-1 already in conference action after a 77-65 loss at home to Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday. The Racers are still having a strong season despite that setback at 11-4 overall. The Racers have been tough to top on the road this season with five wins in six trips. Murray State will return home to face Eastern Illinois next.
In its second straight game that needed overtime to decide, Austin Peay managed to edge out Morehead State, 84-81, to end a five-game losing streak. Wins have been hard to come by for the Governors who are just 5-12 this season. In five games at the Dunn Center the Governors have earned three wins.
Murray State has dominated the series with 75 wins in 116 total meetings. The Racers have also won five of the last six, including a series sweep a year ago.
Despite nailing 11 shots from beyond the arc against Eastern Kentucky, Murray State didn't play well enough on defense to top the Colonels. Murray State was rather lose with the ball in the loss as the Racers had 17 turnovers which turned into 29 points for Eastern Kentucky.
Led by Isaiah Canaan, who has been one of the best scorers in the country, the Racers have been fantastic on offense. Murray State is pouring in 74.5 points per game, which leads the OVC, while ranking third in field goal percentage (.463). Canaan (21.6 ppg, 3.9 apg) is hitting 45.9 percent of his shots from the field and is currently ranked seventh in the country in scoring. Canaan is aided by the efforts of backcourt running mate Stacy Wilson (14.5 ppg, 3.1 apg) as well as Ed Daniel (14.5 ppg, 10.7 rpg), who is one of just a few players in the country to average a double-double for the season. On defense the Racers are allowing 66.5 points per game on 41.1 percent shooting.
After leading for nearly the entire second half against Morehead State, Austin Peay found itself heading to overtime after a Drew Kelly layup with two seconds remaining in regulation knotted the game at 72-72. In the extra session it was Austin Peay's turn for a dramatic end with Travis Betran's 3- pointer with a second left, lifting the Governors to victory.
The Governors are also scoring well this season. Currently Austin Peay is third in the OVC in points per game (72.8), while ranking fourth in field goal percentage (.459). Ball movement has keyed the production as the Governors are the top team in the league with 15.5 apg. Where Austin Peay struggles is on defense where the team is surrendering a whopping 76.1 points per game. Betran (17.3 ppg) is the lead offensive option and ranks fourth in the conference in scoring. Anthony Campbell (15.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and Will Triggs (12.4 pg, 5.2 rpg) are also reliable scorers.
Austin Peay might be able to keep up on the offensive end with Murray State but the Governors' lack of defensive pressure will keep them from being able to pull off the upset.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Murray State 78, Austin Peay 70
01/12 10:32:11 ET
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