A week and a half ago No. 14/16 Murray State faced Southeast Missouri State, after the game two of the Redhawks’ seniors promised to cheer for the Racers. That is until tonight’s game began.
“We’ll meet them again in another week and a half,” Marcus Brister said after the Feb. 2 game. “We want them to (still be undefeated) then and we’re cheering for them, until that night, 7 p.m. at the Show Me Center. Then it’s Senior Night and I’m looking forward to it. That’ll be me and Leon (Powell)’s last home game – can’t wait.”
The Racers (24-1, 12-1 OVC) are coming off a victory against conference rival Austin Peay and will take on the Redhawks (14-11, 9-4), who are on a two game winning streak, at 7 p.m. tonight in Cape Girardeau, Mo in front of SEMO’s first sold-out crowd. The sellout marks the 16th straight sellout or at-capacity crowd Murray State has played in front of since defeating then No. 21 Memphis Dec. 11.
“When they came here they were prepared so we have to be more prepared, more locked in because if we win this we win the whole conference and that’s been our goal from day one,” junior forward Stacy Wilson said. “We’ve got to be more locked in as a team and hopefully we can go and get a good team win together.”
Racers’ Head Coach Steve Prohm said the game cannot be about hype.
“(The focus will be) just being good defensively,” Prohm said. “It’s not about the hype. We’ve been good on the road because it’s not about the hype. We have to defend and rebound and take care of the basketball.”
On Feb. 16, 2011 the Racers played SEMO in Cape Girardeau and lost 64-57, breaking an eight-game winning streak.
“I remember that and hopefully the feeling walking out of there (tonight) is 180 degrees different,” Prohm said. “Our guys that were there, I’m sure they remember it, but we haven’t talked about it.”
If Murray State defeats the Redhawks tonight, during SEMO’s senior night, they will have clinched the regular season conference championship.
“It’s going to be tough, it’s going to take our best effort of the year,” Prohm said. “We’ve played in tough environments all year, we’ve never been beaten on the road, we know what it takes to win on the road so our focus is going to have to be at an all time high and we’re going to have to get back to playing like we know how because SEMO is very good.”