Undefeated basketball teams seem to be common at Murray State University. On Monday night, the Vigilantes and the 4:30 Crew, both at 3-0, squared off in Carr Health.
The game started off at a fast pace with both teams running up and down the court. Halfway through the first half the 4:30 crew held a 13-12 lead over the Vigilantes.
As the captains urged their teammates to slow the pace down, the teams began working the ball around to conserve energy, fighting to a 16-16 tie with five minutes left before halftime.
After a frenzied final few minutes before halftime, 4:30 Crew established a three point lead going into the half at 23-20.
“We really focused on the defense tonight,” 4:30 team captain Darrien Shelton said. “The guys were tough down low and we were constantly swarming on them before they could get the ball to the rim, and it made a difference defensively.”
The 4:30 Crew came out of the half firing. While the three point shots weren’t falling, the Crew drove to the paint nearly every time down the floor. They came up with huge rebounds and went on an 8-0 run. With 13 minutes left in the game they had earned a nine point lead with the score 31-22.
“The key to our offense was our rebounding and blocking out so we could keep possession,” Shelton said.
The 4:30 Crew never looked back. They held the Vigilantes to nine points in the first 15 minutes of the second half.
The Vigilantes mounted a late game surge, but the clock was not on their side as they could only cut the deficit to seven when the clock expired.
The 4:30 Crew moved to 4-0 with their 49-42 victory over the Vigilantes, who fell to 3-1 on the season.
Shelton was excited with the effort he saw from his team.
“I am really proud of the guys tonight,” he said. “We had open shots and we hit them, despite some questionable calls. They played hard and kept driving to the hole, even when we weren’t getting the calls, they kept on pushing and didn’t quit.”
Shelton said he was pleased with the effort, but he did see some room for improvement in his team’s conditioning.
“We’ve got to work on our conditioning and get in shape if we’re going to win this thing,” Shelton said. “We played so hard in the first half, but you could definitely tell we were getting tired and winded in the second. It’s hard to keep the intensity up when your team gets tired in the second half.”
The 4:30 Crew said they weren’t happy with just being 4-0, but have bigger aspirations for the team this season.
“We are trying to go all the way to the championship and win it,” Shelton said. “We really want to go to Middle Tennessee State University and compete in the regional intramural championships.”
With several residential and Greek teams experiencing early season success, there are sure to be big matchups in the coming weeks.