A Strong Start: Racers overcome grueling early schedule to secure 5-1 record

Senior forward Brandon Garrett goes up for a dunk against Old Dominion. || Samuel T. Hays/The News

Senior forward Brandon Garrett goes up for a dunk against Old Dominion. || Samuel T. Hays/The News

After competing in the Charleston Classic two weeks ago, the Racers have finished one of the more grueling portions of their 2012-13 schedule with a solid 5-1 record to start the season.

After playing three games in four days in Charleston, the Racers came home to find a determined Old Dominion team waiting for them at the CFSB Center.

Despite their 1-4 record, the Monarchs gave the Racers everything they could handle Saturday night.

The Racers would need every one of Isaiah Canaan’s then season-high 30 points and Ed Daniel’s career-high 15 rebounds to storm back from a second-half deficit.

With the game tied at 68 with 2:45 remaining, Canaan hit his sixth and final 3-pointer to give Murray State a lead it would not relinquish.

The Racers would escape the cold and rainy night with a hard-fought 79-72 victory.

Canaan, Daniel and the rest of the squad did not have time to relax, however, as they had only one day to prepare for a Monday night contest in Nashville, Tenn., against Lipscomb.

The Bison presented another tough matchup for Murray State, relying heavily on their superior size and strength in the post.

After a physical first half, Lipscomb led Murray State 40-39. The Racers struggled to work the ball inside and were forced to rely on the 3-point shot, scoring nearly half their first-half points from behind the arc.

It was a different story in the second half, however, as Daniel dominated the boards, collecting 18 rebounds – re-breaking the career high he had set two nights prior against Old Dominion.

The Bison refused to go down quietly, keeping pace by shooting the ball a staggering 71 times.

Canaan hit another key three late in the game, extending the lead to nine with 1:36 to play. Canaan, Daniel and Stacy Wilson hit free throws down the stretch to seal the 88-79 victory, moving the Racers to 5-1 on the young season.

“I’m proud of our guys’ effort and resiliency to find a way to win on the road,” said Head Coach Steve Prohm after Monday night’s victory.

With players dealing with nagging injuries, Prohm is glad his team has seven days before its next game.

“We’ve got to get some rest right now,” Prohm said. “We played five games in 11 days and we’ve been preparing for other teams instead of getting Murray State better. We’ve got to get back and take a day off and then get back to working on getting Murray State better.”

The men took Tuesday off and returned to practice Wednesday. The team’s next game is at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at the CFSB Center against Bethel.

Story by Jonathan Ferris, Sports Editor.