Murray State (2-1) vs. NC Central (1-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 22nd, 8:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: U.S. Century Bank Arena (5,000) -- Miami, Florida. Television: None. Home Record: MSU 1-0, NC Central 1-0. Away Record: MSU 0-1, NC Central 0-3. Neutral Record: MSU 1-0, NC Central 0-0. Conference Record: MSU 0-0, NC Central 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Murray State Racers will try to make it three wins in a row tonight, as they take on the NC Central Eagles as part of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer at U.S. Century Bank Arena.
The Racers opened their season with a narrow miss against nationally-ranked California, 75-70, but have since rebounded with consecutive victories. The most recent of those triumphs came here in Miami, a 71-43 trouncing of James Madison on Friday. MSU will conclude its participation this event against FIU on Monday.
As for the Eagles, they have dropped three of their first four games, with all three losses coming on the road and by double figures. The squad was recently in play on Friday, falling to FIU by an 83-73 score. NC Central will return to play tomorrow, when it takes on James Madison in the final round.
Tonight's contest represents the first-ever meeting between MSU and NC Central on the hardwood.
The Racers were terrific on defense in their last game, holding JMU to a measly 28.1 percent shooting performance from the floor in a blowout win. MSU did its damage at the foul line, converting 23-of-33 attempts, and it also had its way on the glass, outrebounding JMU by a decisive 53-32 margin. Tony Easley was terrific in the win, as he notched a double-double of 18 points and 10 boards, to go with five blacks and three steals. It was a complete effort by Easley, the team's top rebounder (8.3 rpg) after three games. Danero Thomas and Isaiah Canaan, two players averaging double figures on the year, added 12 points apiece to the victory over JMU.
The Eagles turned the ball over 17 times and shot just 39.7 percent from the floor, as they were downed by FIU on Friday. NC Central did hit on 8-of-19 three-pointers and 15-of-17 free throws, but it lacked defense, allowing FIU to make 50.0 percent of its attempts from the floor. Vincent Davis guided the team in the setback with 23 points and nine boards, while C.J. Wilkerson tallied 21 points and four assists. The duo has carried the team offensively thus far, combining for 31.0 ppg.
MSU is the more talented club here and with another stingy defensive effort, it should be able to top NC Central tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Murray State 70, NC Central 60
11/22 10:35:24 ET
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