Men’s basketball midseason update

Jenny Rohl/The News

Men step up after player injuries, picking up first true road win at Eastern Kentucky

Story by Kelsey Randolph, Sports Editor

Jenny Rohl/The News

Jenny Rohl/The News

The Racers, (11-10 overall and 5-3 in OVC) finished another night with a win, 75-71 against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels Wednesday.

Coming from two wins at home against Eastern Illinois 68-58 and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville 70-54, the focus was to break the losing streak on the road.

Murray State’s Head Coach Matt McMahon said consistency is being balanced and their hard work is showing off.

“We balanced some consistency there for the first time this past weekend,” McMahon said. “We really did a good job defending the 3-point arc, which has been a weakness of ours, and I think we have to continue to work toward that consistency not only for 40 minutes but from both ends of the floor.”

It wasn’t until 18 minutes into the first half of the Eastern Kentucky game when the Racers took their first lead.

After trailing by 10 points, senior forward Wayne Langston, junior guard Damarcus Croaker and junior forward Gee McGhee stepped up.

The Racers ended the first half up 39-36 and with one last attempt to widen the gap senior forward Jeffrey Moss missed a 3-pointer at the end of the half.

The second half started with the Racers in a lull. The Colonels tied six times after the midway point.

Croaker and Langston led Murray State with 18 points a piece. Langston also led with eight rebounds and junior guard Bryce Jones finished  with eight assists.

The Racers shot 45 percent from the three point line and 47 percent from the field.

Winning their first true road game, the Racers hope to soon return freshman guard Chad Culbreath, who is recovering from a concussion. McMahon is expecting to see both junior forward A.J. Patty and freshman forward Charles Brown step up and help defend while he and freshman forward Brion Sanchious are out.

“Injuries are part of it,” McMahon said. “It happens to every team. I hate it for our guys that it’s happened to them, but they’ve all handled it well and we look forward to getting them back with us. I think we just have to stay committed to what we’re doing – trying to get better every day – we’ve had to make some tweaks here and there because of it, but that’s all part of college athletics I think.”

Looking ahead to the weekend, the Racers continue their road swing at UT Martin (10-11 overall and 2-4 in the OVC) at 3 p.m. Saturday. In the 2015 match-up, the Racers outshot the Skyhawks 65-62 and 73-67. Entering the game, the Racers are on a three-game winning streak while the Skyhawks are on a three-game losing streak.