The men’s basketball team earned their third win in as many games tonight in the CFSB Center as they defeated Tennessee Temple 83-41.
Leading the Racers was junior guard Isaiah Canaan, who had 16 points, went 3-for-3 in free throws for the night and had three steals, and senior guard Donte Poole, who contributed 15 points, three rebounds and four steals.
Murray State forced 26 turnovers and ended the game shooting 49.1% of their field goals, 11.6 percent more than the Crusaders.
Tennessee Temple’s standout player stood head and shoulders above the rest of the Crusaders not only in play but in size. The 7-foot-1 center from Sudan previously played for Mississippi State and led the game in rebounds (14) and points (17).
The game was fast-paced and physical with 36 personal fouls between the teams, 20 being from Temple.
“We knew they were a good team coming in and that they were going to play real hard,” Poole said. “It kind of caught us by surprise when the 7-foot kid got into a rythym and was shooting over the top of us but we kind of wanted to stick to our principles and let everything else take care of itself.”
Despite being 3-0 on the season, senior guard Jewaun Long said the team can’t stop improving.
“I believe we have to improve on every aspect of the game,” he said. “We can’t be satisfied with three wins, we’ve got a bigger picture – three wins is nothing compared to the whole season – so we’ve got to keep working.”
The seniors continue to lead the team in both age and play, Coach Steve Prohm said.
“Those guys have been great and they want to win and they don’t want to let anyone down and neither do I,” he said. “It’s a long year, we’re fortunate enough to get off to a good start but everyone knows our schedule – it doesn’t get any easier.”
The team now turns their attention to an eight-day road trip beginning with Sunday’s game against University of Alabama-Birmingham and continuing through Thanksgiving week for the Great Alaskan Shootout in Anchorage, Alaska.
“That’s a long time,” he said. “We’ll do different things, Thanksgiving dinner and obviously make the guys feel comfortable and at home. I’ll talk to those guys (about being away from home over break) and make Alaska as good of an experience as it can be.”
Prohm said comfort on and off the court is a priority for the team.
“Hopefully they feel comfortable – I want them to feel comfortable if they play hard,” he said. “Play hard, be on time, do the right thing – that’s what I tell them, that’s really the only rules.”