Story by Bryan Edwards, Staff writer
Six Racers scored in double figures as Murray State defeated Austin Peay State 102-58 in the second installment of the Battle of the Border rivalry series.
The 44-point win was the largest margin of victory by either team in the 123-game series history.
Head Coach Matt McMahon said the Racers played their best game on the court this season.
“I was really proud of our guys and the way we responded on the defensive end of the floor,” McMahon said. “We were able to do a good job on the defensive glass and it led to a lot of transition offense.”
The Racers out-rebounded the Governors 43-21 in the contest. The Racers also notched 14 points on fast break opportunities.
Junior guard Terrell Miller Jr. said the team focused on defensive play and boxing out in practice before the game.
“We were all behind each other tonight and really helped each other out throughout the game,” Miller said. “We’ve really worked on boxing out in practice. After we play defense for 30 seconds we have to box someone out, we’ve been working really hard in practice and it showed tonight.”
The Racers held the lead for over 35 minutes of the game, getting ahead by as much as 48, including a 31-point lead at the half. Junior guard Jonathan Stark led the team with 13 points at the half.
Miller led the team with 22 points on 7-of-8 shooting and made all four three point shots he attempted in the game.
Six players for Murray State reached double figures in the scoresheet. Freshman forward Jalen Dupree posted a season high 14 points in the game. He and freshman forward Gilbert Thomas Jr. combined for 26 points on 12-of-27 shooting from the floor.
Head Coach McMahon was happy with the production of the two freshmen in the game.
“The freshmen bigs were fantastic tonight,” McMahon said. “Jalen gives the team a big presence inside and I thought he played a very good game all around tonight.”
The victory gives the Racers three points and expands their lead in the Battle of the Border to 22.5-7.5 with 11 events remaining in the series
The win gets the Racers back to .500 at 13-13 overall on the season and moves them .5 game back of the OVC West lead at 7-5.
The Racers will take the court again at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16 against the Cougars of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville at the CFSB Center.