Murray, KY – Now that the ninth-ranked Murray State Racers have finally lost their first game, they can now turn their attention to winning their third straight Ohio Valley Conference regular season championship, when they host the Austin Peay Governors for a league match at the CFSB Center.
This will be the second encounter between APSU and Murray State this season and 113th in history. The Racers hold a 71-41 lead in the all-time series after their 87-75 victory on Jan. 7th in Clarksville. Isaiah Canaan hit seven straight three-pointers in the first half to lead the Racers past the Governors in the first bout this season.
The Governors are looking to snap a three-game losing streak that was recently extended in their 94-55 loss at Belmont on Monday. APSU allowed Belmont to shoot 53 percent from the field and connect on 10-of-25 attempts from three- point range in the contest which dropped its overall record to 9-17. The Governors are 6-6 in league play, which has them five games back of MSU in the OVC Standings. Head coach Dave Loos does not have to worry about his team's offensive production as much, as it is averaging 69.7 ppg. However, APSU must improve on the defensive end as it allows a second worst in the OVC 73.9 ppg.
APSU will look to its senior center John Fraley to lead them to a victory tonight. Fraley has averaged 21.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game over the span of his last four games. Melvin Baker has played well at the opposite forward position. Baker has been consistent, averaging 13.3 in OVC action. The frontcourt duo have combined to shoot 60 percent from the field in league play. Josh Terry, TyShwan Edmondson, and Jerome Clyburn form to back the backcourt for the Govs. Terry and Edmondson both average 12.3 ppg while Clyburn dishes out 3.2 apg.
Head coach Steve Prohm is now 23-1 for his career after leading the Racers to their still incredible start. Murray State will begin its recovery from its 72-68 loss to Tennessee State, which ended the best start for any team in conference history. The Racers have an 11-1 record in league action, which gives them a three-game lead in the standings with four games left to play. Murray State has outscored its league opponents by an average of 13.2 ppg, and also leads the OVC in blocks (4.2), steals (8.5), and turnover margin (+2.67).
Canaan has been the leader for Murray State all season. The junior guard is ranked second in the league and 21st in the nation in scoring with 19.3 ppg and is also third in the OVC in assists with 3.7 per game. Donte Poole and Ivan Aska have been steadily contributing to Murray State's success. Poole has been slumping as of late, as he has gone 4-of-25 from the floor in his last three contests. Aska is grabbing a team-best 5.9 boards per game. Jewuan Long stretches the defense with his 50.0 percent shooting from beyond the arc.