Morehead State (19-9) at Murray State (16-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 22, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: CFSB Center (8,600) -- Murray, Kentucky. Television: None. Home Record: Morehead 9-3, Murray 12-1. Away Record: Morehead 9-5, Murray 4-8. Neutral Record: Morehead 1-1, Murray 0-0. Conference Record: Morehead 10-3, Murray 11-2. Series Record: Murray State leads, 105-47.
GAME NOTES: Two of the top programs in the Ohio Valley Conference meet on Saturday night, as the Morehead State Eagles take to the road to do battle with the Murray State Racers.
The Eagles have won five straight games, including a thrilling come-from- behind double-overtime decision against visiting Austin Peay on Wednesday night, 90-88. Morehead State sits in second place in the East Division of the OVC, a game and a half behind Belmont.
Murray State has clinched the West Division title and is just a half game back of Belmont for the best overall record in the league. The Racers have won their last three and six of seven overall, including a 72-60 triumph over Eastern Illinois at home last Saturday.
Murray State owns a decided 105-47 advantage in the all-time series. The last meeting was a double-overtime thriller won by Morehead State, 106-100, last February. The Racers have won eight straight in Murray.
Angelo Warner poured in a game-high 28 points, including the game-winning bucket in the final second of double-overtime, as the Eagles bested the Austin Peay Governors. Warner also added six assists and four steals ,while Chad Posthumus posted a double-double with 17 points and 18 rebounds, Brent Arrington netted 14 points, and Luka Pajkovic scored 10 in the win. The Eagles rallied at the end of regulation and in the first overtime to get it to the second extra session.
The Eagles are a solid offensive team and are netting a respectable 78.1 ppg on 45.2 percent shooting this season. Where they really excel is on the glass, as they lead the OVC and rank 18th nationally in rebounding (39.2 rpg). Posthumus (10.1 ppg, 11.7 rpg) is the main reason for their dominance down low, as he is tied for second in the country in cleaning the glass. While Posthumus also lends a hand in the scoring department, it is Warner (17.5 ppg) and Arrington (11.7 ppg) that are the most productive offensive weapons, with Drew Kelly (10.2 ppg) working his way into the mix as well.
Jeffery Moss tallied 18 points as the Racers took down Eastern Illinois in their last outing. T.J. Sapp came off the bench to score 13 points and grab six rebounds, Jarvis Williams chipped in 12 points with eight boards, and Jonathan Fairell contributed 11 in the win. Leading 32-27 at intermission, the Racers knocked down 55 percent of their field goal attempts, and shot 15-of-21 from the charity stripe in the second half as they pulled away for the victory.
Cameron Payne may be the leading scorer overall for the Racers with his 15.2 ppg, adding a team-high 139 assists, but he is shooting only 38.1 percent from the floor at the moment. Williams is much more accurate from the field at 63.1 percent, much of that having to do with the fact that he is always close to the rim and has 94 offensive rebounds all by himself. Williams is averaging 14.2 ppg and 10.5 rpg, one of only a few of players in the nation averaging a double-double.
Both teams have been playing strong basketball and are in the running for the top seed in the OVC tournament in a few weeks. These are evenly matched squads with scoring depth, so expect some points to be put on the board. If there is any advantage to be had, its the fact that Murray State has been almost unbeatable at home this season, so that may give them a slight edge.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Murray State 75, Morehead State 71
02/22 10:34:35 ET