Morehead, KY – As one of only two undefeated teams left at ranked Murray State Racers continue their dream season as they tangle with the Morehead State Eagles tonight in an Ohio Valley Conference clash from Johnson Arena.
Murray State is in the midst of a record-setting campaign, as the team is 18-0 (6-0 in conference), and has won all seven of its true road games thus far. The Racers, whose previous best start was 16-0 back in 1935-36, took out visiting Tennessee Tech last Saturday, 82-74, in their most recent outing, and this is the first of two in a row the team will play on the road, the next being at SIU-Edwardsville this Saturday. With every win, MSU is setting a new school record for consecutive victories.
Morehead State is a game under .500 at the moment (9-10), and the team has split its first six OVC affairs. The Eagles put the brakes on a two-game slide by upending visiting Eastern Kentucky last Saturday, 57-54, running their home record to 5-2 in the process. Murray State is the first nationally-ranked team to ever play at Johnson Arena, which opened in December of 1981.
Murray State owns a commanding 104-47 lead in the all-time series with Morehead State, and while the Racers won the most recent meeting (70-62 at home last year), they have lost three straight to the Eagles' in Morehead.
Murray State is getting it done at both ends of the court this season, as the team averages 75.7 ppg while allowing just 60.9 ppg. The Racers, who boast three double-digit scorers in the form of Isaiah Canaan (18.5 ppg), Donte Poole (14.6 ppg) and Ivan Aska (12.6 ppg), are shooting 48.1 percent from the field, 43.1 percent from three-point range and 74.3 percent from the foul line. They also own favorable margins in both rebounding (+1.8) and turnovers (+3.2). Aska broke his hand a few weeks ago, leaving the bulk of the work to Poole and Canaan, and both were on point in the recent win over Tennessee Tech, scoring 28 and 24 points, respectively. The Racers won the game despite knocking down just 37.7 percent of their field goal attempts by claiming a 27-16 edge in points from the charity stripe, coupled with 29 points scored off 17 Golden Eagle turnovers.
With a record hovering right .500 on the year, it's not surprising that the Eagles are averaging the exact same number of points they allow (63.8 ppg). The team had just one double-digit scorer in the fold, as Terrance Hill averages 13.3 ppg. Unfortunately for Morehead State, Hill was lost for the remainder of the season after suffering a serious knee injury against Austin Peay on New Year's Eve. The loss of Hill leaves guys like Ty Proffitt (9.8 ppg) and Drew Kelly (8.5 ppg) to pick up the slack, and Kelly certainly did his part in last Saturday's win over Eastern Kentucky, scoring a career-high 26 points on the strength of his 12-of-16 showing at the free-throw line. Freshman Angelo Warner also got into the act against the Colonels, finishing with a line of 11 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and no turnovers in 32 minutes of action.