The ninth-ranked Murray State Racers will once again march out on the court to defend their perfect record as they host the Tennessee State Tigers in an Ohio Valley Conference clash at the CFSB Center.
This will be the first of two scheduled meetings between the Racers and Tennessee State this season. Murray State holds a 46-15 edge in the all-time series after winning the last eight encounters with the Tigers.
Tennessee State is going to be one of the tougher matchups for the Racers on their OVC schedule. The Tigers are 15-10 overall and 8-4 in league action after their 75-72 road victory over Southeast Missouri State on Saturday, which left them in a tie for second place in the league standings. Head coach John Cooper's team continued to play well offensively as it shot 42.4 percent from the fiend and 38.5 percent from beyond the arc in the victory over SEMO. Tennessee State is fourth in league action in the OVC with a scoring average of 72.0 ppg. The Tigers are the second hottest team in the conference, as they carry a five-game winning streak into tonight.
Robert Covington is one of the top players in the conference, as he carries averages of 17.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest. The junior forward was exceptional his last time out, as he netted 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to help his squad push past Southeast Missouri State. Kellen Thornton came up big off the bench in the same contest with 15 points and six boards off the bench while Kenny Moore added 11 points. Patrick Miller controls the offense and is posting 11.7 points and a team-high 3.5 assists per game.
Head coach Steve Prohm is 23-0 for his career in leading the Racers to their incredible start. Murray State's road to perfection has seen recent close calls, as every OVC team is trying to make headlines with an upset. After a second-half comeback against Missouri State on Thursday of last week, the Racers outlasted Tennessee-Martin to pick up a 65-58 victory, which made them 11-0 in league action. Murray State's statistics illustrate their dominance, as it leads the OVC in both scoring offense (75.2) and scoring defense (61.3).
The Racers have been paced by their MVP candidate Isaiah Canaan. The junior guard is ranked second in the league and 24th in the nation in scoring with 19.3 ppg and is also third in the OVC in assists with 3.8 per game. Donte Poole and Ivan Aska have been steadily contributing to keep Murray State rolling. Poole has been slumping as of late, as he has gone 1-of-15 from the floor in his last two contests. Aska grabbing a team-best 5.9 boards per game. Jewuan Long stretches the defense with his 51.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc.