Cape Girardeau, MO – Donte Poole poured in a game-high 25 66 win over Southeast Missouri State on Wednesday.
Ivan Aska netted 14 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while Jewuan Long and Ed Daniel donated 10 points apiece in the victory for Murray State (25-1, 13-1 OVC), who have won back-to-back games since suffering its first loss to Tennessee State on February 9.
"I thought we played really well from the start of the game, especially on defense," Murray State head coach Steve Prohm said.
Leon Powell paced the Redhawks (14-12, 9-5) with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Corey Wilford and Lucas Nutt added 12 and 11 points, respectively for Southeast Missouri State. Marland Smith donated 10 points and three steals in a losing effort.
The game remained close through the first 10 minutes of the opening half, as Murray State led by only one, 10-9.
The Racers though, put some distance between themselves and the Redhawks with an 11-4 burst to push out to a 21-13 lead, capped by a Long jumper with less than five minutes to play in the first 20 minutes.
A layup by Porter pulled the Redhawks to within 21-17, but Murray State responded with an 11-3 run to go ahead 32-20 with less than a minute to go in the first half. It was 32-22 at the break.
Smith nailed a trey early in the second half to pull the Redhawks within five, 33-28, but Murray State used a 12-4 push to extend its lead to 45-32 with 12:14 to go in regulation.
A layup by Marcus Brister brought Southeast Missouri State within 53-48, but again the Racers responded and pushed the lead back to 11 on Poole jumper with 4:38 to play.
The Redhawks got no closer than six as Murray State held on down the stretch for the win.
"They're a really good basketball team, they don't give you anything," Souutheast Missouri State head coach Dickey Nutt said. "We had to earn everything that we did."
Wednesday marked the second meeting of the season between the teams. Murray State recorded an 81-73 victory earlier in the year... Murray State has a 50-17 lead in the all-time series...The Racers shot 46 percent from the floor and 5-of-13 from beyond the arc, while the Redhawks shot 37 percent from the field and 43 percent from three-point range...Murray State turned 15 Redhawks turnovers into 16 points...Isaiah Canaan added nine points and four assists for Murray State.