Edwardsville, IL – The 12th-ranked Murray State Racers will attempt to stay perfect as they head to the Vadalabene Center for an Ohio Valley Conference bout with the SIU Edwardsville Cougars this evening.
This will be the 10th meeting in the all-time series. Murray State has won eight of the previous nine matchups.
The Racers will try to improve upon their 19-0 record tonight and remain the only other undefeated team in the nation besides top-ranked Syracuse. A victory would make Murray State the second team in the country to reach 20 wins. Although they walked away with a 66-60 victory over Morehead State, the Racers trailed by nine in the second half before lock down defense and clutch shooting extended their winning streak. Rookie head coach Steve Prohm has seen his squad dominate, as it leads the OVC in nine different statistical categories, including scoring offense (75.7 ppg), scoring defense (60.9 ppg), and three-point field goal percentage (43.1).
Isaiah Canaan has been guiding the Racers through their impressive start. The junior guard is the second leading scorer in the OVC with 18.6 ppg and is also fourth in the league with 4.0 apg. Canaan has scored 20 points or more in each of his last two outings. Donte Pool is a solid backcourt companion for Canaan, and he scored 28 points against Tennessee Tech before being held to 15 in his last outing. Pool is a legitimate threat from three-point range with a 40.4 percentage from beyond the arc. The Racers will be without their leading rebounder Ivan Aska for the fifth straight game (broken hand).
SIUE is riding a three-game losing streak after an 80-67 loss to Austin Peay on Thursday night. Head coach Lennox Forrester has led his team to a 5-11 overall record and a 3-4 mark in its first year of OVC play. Despite losing to Austin Peay, the Cougars shot 51 percent from the field in the contest. SIUE's average scoring margin of -6.2 ppg is the second worst in the conference.
SIUE will need big contributions from its primary scorers Mark Yelovich, Jerome Jones, and Kris Davis. Yelovich is averaging a team-best 13.3 ppg on 43.2 percent shooting from the field. Jones is second on the team with 13.1 ppg and has scored in the double-figures in his last three outings, including a 19-point and seven-rebound outing against Southeast Missouri State. Davis has also scored in double-figures in three-straight, and is coming off of an 11-point, five-assist outing against Austin Peay.