This will be the 167th meeting in the all-time series between the Golden Eagles and the Racers. Murray State owns a 119-47 edge in the series and has won six straight at home in the rivalry. Tennessee Tech was the last OVC team to defeat the Racers, as it knocked them out of the OVC Conference Tournament in the semifinal round last season.
Tennessee Tech comes into tonight's contest with an 11-6 overall record having won three in a row. The Golden Eagles trail Murray State by 1.5 games in the OVC standings. Head coach Steve Payne has guided his team to the second best overall record into the conference to this point. Tennessee Tech picked up a 66-55 victory over Morehead State its last time out. The Golden Eagles knocked down nine three-pointers for the second-straight game in the contest to help power the victory. The Golden Eagles have the second best scoring offense in the OVC with an average of 73.5 ppg.
Tennessee Tech is led by the dangerous duo of Kevin Murphy and Jud Dillard. Murphy leads the team and conference in scoring with 19.7 ppg. The senior guard averaged 21.5 ppg and 7.5 rpg in the team's last two games in the Las Vegas Classic. Dillard is the tied for second in the OVC in scoring with 18.2 ppg. Despite being just 6-4, Dillard also leads the OVC in rebounding with 8.5 rpg. Zac Swansey has made an impact on both ends of the floor as he is dishing out a league-best 5.9 assists per game and is ranked seventh in the nation with 2.6 steals per contest.
Although Tennessee Tech has an impressive resume, the Racer's record-setting 17-0 start overshadows the visitors. Murray State set a program record for its best start with its 66-55 victory over Jacksonville State on Thursday. The victory over the Gamecocks extended Murray State's home winning streak to 15 games. The Racers have had a better shooting performance than their opponents in 11 straight games. While staying perfect, Murray State has averaged OVC- bests in scoring offense (75.4 ppg) and scoring defense (60.1 ppg). The Racers have been quite good in conference play, outscoring their opponents by an average of 17.8 ppg.
Isaiah Canaan has been guiding the Racers through their impressive start. The junior guard is tied with Dillard as the second leading scorer in the OVC with 18.2 ppg and is also tied for second in the league with 4.1 apg. Canaan scored 35 points against Austin Peay before being held to just 10 in his last outing. Donte Pool is a solid backcourt companion for Canaan, as he averages 13.8 ppg and is a legitimate threat from three-point range with a 42.4 percentage from beyond the arc. The Racers will be without their leading rebounder Ivan Aska for the fourth straight game (broken hand).