Racers finish regular season at home against SEMO

The Racers will look to rebound tonight from one of the worst losses in recent program history.

After coming up one point short in a comeback attempt against tenth place UT-Martin, Murray State now has one final game against Southeast Missouri to build momentum before the OVC Tournament next week. Additionally, the Racers will look to send the most successful senior class in program history out with one final win in the CFSB Center.

Isaiah Canaan, Ed Daniel, Jordan Burge, Stacy Wilson, Latreze Mushatt, Brandon Garrett and team manager Tim MacAllister will all be honored prior to the game as part of the senior night festivities.

On his Twitter account Saturday morning, Prohm said he hoped to see a large crowd supporting the senior class in its final game on Murray State’s campus.

“Senior Day 2013,” Prohm tweeted. “Please come sell out the Bank & say Thx to six incredible seniors who have not just impacted Racer Basketball but a community.”

“RacerNation please sell out Bank 2nite,” he continued. “Think about every autograph, picture, memory these 6 have given us! A day to say Thanks! No excuses.”

After the ceremonies are over, however, it will be game on for the Racers as they square off against a talented SEMO squad who currently resides in second place in the West – just behind the Racers.

While Murray State has already secured the Western Conference crown and the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament, both teams will have a lot to play for tonight as they look to build momentum before they head to Nashville.

The Redhawks are a high scoring team, ranking second in the conference in points per game with 73.8. They like to shoot a lot of 3-pointers, and lead the conference with a 40 percent success rate from deep.

A large portion of SEMO’s scoring comes from senior guard Corey Wilford, who is averaging 14.7 points per game and shooting an impressive 44 percent from 3-point range – good for fifth in the conference.

The Murray State big men will also have their hands full down low as they attempt to contain forwards Nino Johnson and Marland Smith; both of whom average more than seven rebounds and ten points per game.

The two teams met earlier in the year in Cape Girardeau, MO. After falling into an early 12 point deficit, Canaan exploded for the Racers, racking up 23 of his 28 points in the second half. Daniel also had a monster effort, hauling in 17 rebounds and 15 points. Murray State erased the deficit and took the hard fought battle 74-66.

As the Racers look to win the rematch and complete the season sweep of the Redhawks, Canaan will be shooting to become just the sixth Racer to reach 2,000 career points. Currently standing with 1,977 points, Canaan needs just 23 to reach the milestone in front of the 30 plus family members he expects to be in attendance for the senior night game.

Additionally, Head Coach Steve Prohm has announced he will change the starting lineup for the first time all season, breaking a streak of 28 consecutive games with the same starting five. Prohm will start Latreze Mushatt in place of Brandon Garrett to honor the senior in his final game.

Expected to fill departed senior Ivan Aska’s role in the starting lineup, Mushatt was sidelined for the first two months of the season after he ruptured his Achilles tendon over the summer. Despite playing his first game in February, Mushatt has yet to crack the starting lineup due to the consistent play of Garrett.

Tonight Prohm will honor Mushatt’s hard work and give him the nod over Garrett.

With plenty at stake, it is sure to be an exciting night as Canaan, Daniel and the rest of the seniors look to cap their careers in the CFSB Center with a final victory.

Story by Jonathan Ferris, Staff writer.