Tennessee State (14-10) at Murray State (17-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 9, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: CFSB Center (8,600) -- Murray, Kentucky. Television:
None. Home Record: TSU 9-0. Murray State 8-2. Away Record: TSU 4-9, Murray
State 7-2. Neutral Record: TSU 1-1, Murray State 2-1. Conference Record: TSU
8-3, Murray State 8-2. Series Record: Murray State leads, 47-16.
GAMES NOTES: Coming off their biggest win of the season the Murray State
Racers face another tough Ohio Valley Conference test against the Tennessee
State Tigers at the CFSB Center on Saturday night.
It certainly wasn't an easy win but Tennessee State was able to top Austin
Peay on Thursday, 88-82, in overtime. With the win the Tigers improved to
14-10 overall and 8-3 in OVC action. That has the Tigers in sole possession of
third place in the league standings and just a half game behind the Racers.
The win against Austin Peay was just the fourth in 13 road trips for Tennessee
State, which will host conference-leading Belmont next.
It was against that red-hot Belmont team that Murray State was able to pull
out a 79-74 win against on Thursday. The victory pushed the Racers to a 17-5
overall mark and to 8-2 in league play which has them a game and a half behind
the Bruins for the top spot in the OVC. The Racers have certainly been
formidable at home this season with a mark of 8-2 at the CFSB Center where
they have won their last four matchups. A three-game road trip awaits Murray
State after this game.
This is the only scheduled meeting between these squads this season.
Historically speaking this hasn't been much of a rivalry, as Murray State
leads the all-time series, 47-16, with wins in 10 of the last 11 meetings.
Leading by five points with four minutes remaining, the Tigers allowed the
Governors to go on a 9-2 spurt to take a 67-65 lead with four seconds
remaining. However, Kellen Thornton tapped the ball in off a missed 3-point
attempt from Jordan Cyphers just before the buzzer sounded to send the game to
overtime. The Tigers scored the first seven points in the extra session and
never looked back.
Patrick Miller (14.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 5.3 apg) had another fine game against
Austin Peay as he poured in 25 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Though not one of
the premier scorers in the OVC, the 6-foot-1 guard has scored at least 17
points in six of the last seven games, while finding time to lead the league
in assists. Thornton (14.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg) is actually the leading scorer on the
squad but has been held out of double figures in two of the last four games.
Cyphers (12.1 ppg) provides a solid third option. Overall, Tennessee State is
a pedestrian offensive team in comparison to the rest of the OVC, scoring 69.3
points per game on 43.1 percent shooting.
The Racers ran out to a 36-26 lead at halftime against Belmont and then held
on in the final 20 minutes to earn a huge win. The Racers shot 44.4 percent
from the field overall and knocked in 10 3-pointers in the contest. Murray
State also willed itself to the free-throw line all game with a 21-9 edge in
points from the charity stripe.
Though he hasn't garnered the headlines like he did last season, Isaiah Canaan
(21.1 ppg, 4.1 apg) has still been sensational in the Racers' backcourt. The
senior guard leads the OVC in scoring after pouring in 26 points against
Belmont, while also ranking among the top 10 scorers nationally. The Racers
employ a guard-heavy rotation of which Stacy Wilson (13.4 ppg) has been the
next best option behind Canaan. That's not to say that the Racers don't have
skill on the interior, as double-double machine Ed Daniel (13.7 ppg, 10.8 rpg)
has been a strong presence inside. The Racers are benefiting from a nearly +8
scoring margin, by netting 72.5 points per game, while allowing just 64.6
points per game.
Murray State has to be careful not to let up against Tennessee State, which is
another team still gunning for the OVC throne. With Canaan on the floor that
is unlikely to happen.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Murray State 76, Tennessee State 68
02/09 10:33:25 ET
Powered by The Sports Network.