Story by Bryan Edwards, Staff writer
The Racers traveled to Morehead, Kentucky, to face off against the Morehead State Eagles. The Racers entered the game tied for the lead in the OVC West.
The Racers battled back from being down by as much as 14 points to force overtime, but it was Morehead’s junior guard Miguel Dicent who hit a game-winning layup with 4.5 seconds left to secure a 101-100 victory over the Racers.
Head Coach Matt McMahon said he was happy with how the offense bounced back after halftime.
“We dug ourselves in a hole in the first half, and we go into the locker room down 12 at the half,” McMahon said. “I thought our guys fought hard and found a way to score 52 points in the second half and forcing overtime. We fell back early in overtime, but we battled back very well. We just couldn’t get the stop with nine seconds to go in the game.”
The Racers cut a 12 point, 44-32 halftime deficit to just three within five minutes.
Senior guard Bryce Jones gave the Racers their first lead of the half at 59-58, tipping in two points with 11:06 remaining in the contest.
The two teams battled for the lead throughout the rest of the half. Following two free throws by Morehead senior guard Xavier Moon, the Eagles captured a five-point lead with 56 seconds remaining in the game.
Junior forward Terrell Miller Jr. scored six of his 15 second half points in the last 47 seconds and junior guard Jonathan Stark made two free throws in the final seconds to tie the game at 84. The free throws capped off an 8-3 run for the Racers to force overtime.
The Eagles opened the extra period with six consecutive points, taking an early 90-84 lead. Miller Jr. answered with nine points for the Racers, which kept Murray State in the game after getting down early in overtime.
Trailing 99-93 with 1:27 remaining in the game, the Racers sparked a 7-0 run to take a 100-99 lead with nine seconds left. Following an Eagle timeout, Dicent made a layup with 4.5 seconds left to help the Eagles defeat the Racers 101-100 in overtime.
Stark, who fouled out early in the overtime period, recorded a career high of 33 points during the contest. Stark recorded 18 of his points in the first half.
Miller finished with 27 points in the game, and scored 25 of his points in the second half and overtime.
The Racers were outrebounded 42-31 in the game. Morehead State entered the game as the most efficient offensive rebounding team in the OVC and recorded 15 offensive rebounds in the game.
McMahon said the team needs to get better at rebounding the ball and keeping opponents from getting offensive rebounds.
“We had some tough opportunities where we gave up a second chance when we made a big stop on the defensive end,” McMahon said. “We were forced to rotate to defend some open shots. We weren’t able to pull the rebound down and gave them second chances on offense.”
The loss puts the Racers under .500 at 12-13 overall and 6-5 in the OVC. The Racers also fall to 0-4 on the season in overtime games.
The Racers will be back in action at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, against the Governors of Austin Peay State in the second installment of the Battle of the Border rivalry series. Austin Peay defeated the Racers 84-81 in overtime in their previous meeting. The game will be held at the CFSB Center.