It was a different night but a similar story for the Racers, Thursday night as they headed to Cookeville, Tenn. to take on the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles.
Murray State started strong, scoring the game’s first eight points. Tennessee Tech began to find it’s groove, however, and took the lead at the 4:52 mark of the first half. Riding strong play from junior forward Dennis Ogbe, who put up eight points and five rebounds in the first half, Tennessee tech took a 26-20 lead to the locker room.
Thursday night marked the ninth time this season the Racers have found themselves trailing at the half. Murray State had gone 6-2 in the previous eight games in which they were trailing at the midway point.
The offensive struggles continued for both teams in the second half, with both the Racers and Golden Eagles shooting less than 40 percent from the field. Additionally, both teams failed to protect the ball, with the Racers giving up a season-high 23 turnovers while Tennessee Tech gave up 19 of its own.
With both teams struggling to score, Ed Daniel was there to corral the missed shots, snagging ten rebounds in the second half. He would finish the night with his eleventh double-double of the season, notching ten rebounds and ten points.
The two teams traded shots throughout the first ten minutes of the second half. At the 10:00 mark, however, Ed Daniel hit two free throws, giving the Racers a share of the lead for the first time since the 4:52 mark in the first period.
The Racers would not relinquish the lead again, going on a 10-2 run after Daniel’s free throws. Key scores from seniors Brandon Garrett, Latreze Mushatt and Stacy Wilson pushed the Racers out to a 43-34 lead with 4:09 to play. Tennessee Tech would only score five more points, while Senior guard Isaiah Canaan made three free throws down the stretch to cement the 47-39 Racer win.
The win moved Murray State to 15-4 on the year and 6-1 in the conference, extending their lead in the Ohio Valley Conference’s Western Division to three games over second-place SIUE.
The Racers wrap up their quick two game road trip with a trip to Jacksonville State on Saturday. The Gamecocks are currently in fifth in the East Division, with a conference record of 5-4.
Murray State tips off Saturday afternoon at 4:30 at the Pete Matthews Coliseum in Jacksonville, Ala.
Story by Jonathan Ferris, staff writer.