Murray, KY – And then there were none.
Murray State, the last undefeated NCAA Division I team, fell to Tennessee State, 72-68, on Thursday. The ninth-ranked Racers (23-1, 11-1 OVC) had already clinched the best start to a season in conference history.
Murray State, which had won 18 straight at home, got a game-high 31 from Isaiah Canaan and 10 from Donte Poole.
The game was knotted at 62 with 4 1/2 minutes to play, but Tennessee State closed with a 10-6 run to clinch the improbable victory.
Covington broke the tie with a three-pointer and Miller finished a layup to make it 67-62. The Racers followed with three straight behind a bucket from Latreze Mushatt and a free throw from Canaan, before Covington scored in close for a 69-65 lead.
Canaan answered with a three-point play, pulling the Racers within one, 69-68, but their perfect season fell by the wayside when he lost the ball near the top of the key with two seconds to play. Moore hit a pair of foul shots and Cyphers went 1-of-2 from the line to cap the scoring.
The Racers had opened and then closed the first half with a pair if 7-0 runs. A dunk by Ed Daniel, a layup by Poole and a three-pointer by Jewuan Long had them up early, but the Tigers fought back, going ahead 18-17 on Miller's jumper. It was 33-33 less than two minutes before the break when Ivan Aska hit a jumper, Mushatt scored inside and Canaan made a trey for a 40-33 Murray State advantage.
Canaan scored the first five points after the break, extending the Racers' lead to 12. They were still up double digits, 53-43, when the Tigers surged ahead with a 13-2 burst. Moore scored six straight during the run and Kellen Thornton capped it with a bucket, making it 56-55 and triggering the hard- fought finish.
The Racers had already clinched the best start to a season in Ohio Valley Conference history, surpassing the Western Kentucky team which began the 1953-54 campaign 21-0...The Racers' 18-game home win streak had dated back to January of 2011...Murray State leads the all-time series, 46-16...Canaan notched his fourth 30-point performance of the season.