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Eight minutes into the Racers’ Saturday afternoon matchup at Evansville, Head Coach Steve Prohm found himself telling his team to “start over.”
After a lackluster start to the game, the Racers trailed the Aces by 15 points. Ned Cox, a senior guard from San Antonio, Texas, torched the Racers during the first eight minutes, sinking his first seven shots for 16 points.
After their “restart”, however, the Racers held Cox scoreless for the remainder of the game. Leaning heavily on senior big men Ed Daniel and Brandon Garrett, Murray State clawed its way back into the game. With a last-second layup from Isaiah Canaan, Prohm’s team headed into
halftime down by three points; a massive recovery from the abysmal start.“(Coach Prohm) told us we were good and just to keep playing,” senior forward Ed Daniel said. “It was the first time we’ve been down more than like 10 or 15 points in a game and came all the way back. We were just hungry and kept fighting for it.”
The Racers came out of the locker room firing, kicking off the second half with a 19-4 run. A deep 3-pointer from Isaiah Canaan at the 18:02 mark gave the Racers their first lead of the game.
They never relinquished it.
Murray State dominated down low, outscoring Evansville 44-21 in the paint, and winning the rebounding battle 41-30. Daniel turned in his sixth straight double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds.
“Credit our great seniors, led by Ed (Daniel) and Isaiah (Canaan),” Prohm said. “They’re just tremendous and have great resolve. It’s a great win.”While Daniel has been dominant in the paint all season, Brandon Garrett turned in a surprising performance Saturday, scoring a career high 16 points and eight rebounds.
Freshman Jeffery Moss also returned to action Saturday after sitting out against Bethel with an ankle injury. Moss played 22 minutes – the most of any bench player – while scoring three points and collecting three rebounds.
The Racers dominated the remainder of the game, extending their lead to as many as 16 points. When the final whistle blew, the Racers led 82-70.
The victory improved Murray State’s record to 7-1 on the season. The student athletes will now receive some time off as they take their finals and finish up classes for the semester. Their next matchup comes a week from Sunday at home against long-time rival Western Kentucky.
After Western Kentucky, the Racers hit the road again for trips to Arkansas State and Dayton before finishing up their non-conference schedule at home against Valparaiso.
Story by Jonathan Ferris, staff writer.