Final [Bethel 32 Murray 77] Racers finish 6 of 17 from the FT line. You can’t teach FT shooting.
3:23 2nd [Bethel 32 Murray 69] Starters back in the game now. And missing free throws. Racers under 50% on the night from the charity stripe. But, they didn’t shoot that many either, so not a cause for concern yet. The Racers have shot 3’s on each of their last 3 trips down the floor, and have definitely gotten away from penetrating. But again, it’s an exhibition, and they’re up 37.]
7:47 2nd [Bethel 27 Murray 62] Racers with 5 bench players in. And not surprisingly, that fire is back. This team may be even deeper than I though originally, and that’s scary. Mushatt is a starter, in my mind. (Not sure who you take out of the starting 5, though. Long maybe?) Stacy Wilson, Zay Jackson, Brandon Garrett all playing strong. I can easily see 10 players playing nightly for the Racers. Not many teams in the OVC have that kind of depth. Murray’s not a big team, which could cause some problems, but they make up for it with a lot of speed. I do wonder how they’ll match up with TSU’s Covington or SEMO’s Powell. (depending on the extent of his injury) Overall though, great effort through 32 minutes.
10:43 2nd [Bethel 25 Murray 55] The Racers are slowing it down in Murray, and crashing the boards very well over the past few minutes.
13:23 2nd [Bethel 22 Murray 51] In the past few minutes, Bethel has gotten their first 2 easy baskets of the game. Prohm calls a time out after a backcourt violation on Murray. I think they’re getting a little bored. No seriously, they don’t seem to have that killer instinct they had in the 1st. Up 29, can’t fully blame them. Prohm can though, and I bet he his right now.
15:52 2nd [Bethel 17 Murray 44] So at this point, I’m struggling to find something new to say. Great passing, much like in the first half for the Racers. Strong defense, although Bethel is doing a better job of penetrating so far.
Stat update at the half. 15 players for Bethel played in the 1st half. Only 3 of them hit a basket.
Bethel: FG 3-19 (15.8%)
3FG 2-8 (25%)
FT 5-6 (83.3%)
Leading Scorer: Palmer (4)
Rebounder : Hardy , Palmer (3)
Murray: FG 15-33 (45.5%)
3FG 1-9 (11.1%)
FT 3-7 (42.9%)
Leading Scorer: Canaan, Long (7)
Rebounder: Daniel (6)
Murray leads rebounding 24-13. 9 offensive rebounds for the Racers.
14 Turnovers in the 1st half for Bethel. 6 for Murray.
Half [Bethel 13 Murray 34] It’s the tale of two halves…of the court for Murray. Things seem mostly great on the defensive end. Murray getting great pressure. Bethel was only 3 of 15 thru first 16 minutes of the half. Offensive end, not bad, but not great. Great opportunities, but not finishing plays. They drove the lane much better in the last 8 minutes of the half, but was still missing shots. Bethel taking a “throw it at the wall and see what sticks” approach…14 players with at least 3 minutes in the first half. The only problem, nothing is sticking…
1:56 1st [Bethel 11 Murray 32] So things got a little sloppy for a few minutes. Tense minutes for Murray, as Isiah Canaan went down behind Bethel’s bench. Refs (and many of us on press row) didn’t see it, and the crowd actually alerted the refs to the fact that Murray only had 4 on the floor during a free throw. He got up and slowly walked back to Murray bench a minute later. Bethel called another timeout, down by 21. Canaan now back sitting on Racers bench, doesn’t look serious.
3:47 1st [Bethel 10 Murray 28] Prediction: Mushatt works his way into the starting lineup by December. Maybe by Friday. He is huge down low for the Racers, with 6 points, and 2 tough offensive rebounds in his first 5 minutes of play. Some starters coming back in for the Racers at the 6:17 mark. Mushatt stays in. Daniel seems to be the best Racers threat in the paint, but that being said he’s missed more than a few shots now. Earlier, I mentioned the Racers were settling for jump shots, the real problem is that they’re settling for 18-foot field goals, or worse 20-foot feet on the line field goals. Racers a little sloppy in transition the last few drives, but solid throughout the night. They’re forcing steals, and that’s what’s key. As you can tell, not a lot of scoring in the past 4 minutes.
7:41 1st [Bethel 10 Murray 24] I know this isn’t an official statistic, but I’m almost certain the Racers have 0 layups to this point in the game. I’ve only seen them drive once…while they are getting it into the lane, they’re doing so using solely the pass, and most of those passes are coming from the top of the key. And as I say that, the Racers score with a layup. So there’s one. At least 7 (maybe 8) turnovers for Bethel so far, most of those forced by the defense. One negative defensive note, Murray seems to get lost on screens. Prohm’s sideline demeanor much different than Kennedy’s. More on that at the half.
11:55 1st [Bethel 7 Murray 16] Murray came out of the media timeout in a 2-3 zone, and draw a charging call on their first defensive play. Back to man quickly though. Doing a great job forcing Bethel into jump shots, but on the offensive end, they’re taking too many jump shots themselves early in the shot clock. 4 steals so far. (3 and a 1/2 really…one was a questionable no-call) 4 subs come in for the Racers at 12:07 mark.
15:50 1st [Bethel 2 Murray 9] I’ve said it before, but I’ll repeat myself: There might be a new coach at the helm of the Racers, but this is the same ol’ Murray State squad. And that’s a good thing. Murray aggressive with tight-man-to-man defense early, which did pick up 2 early defensive fouls. Aggressive on the offensive end as well, doing a great job of getting the ball in the paint. Not making as many of those shots as I would like, but Bethel’s defense is part of the reason: it’s solid early as well. Forced 2 straight turnovers that led to easy baskets. Timeout Bethel.
7:00 p.m. Starting 5 for the Racers: Aska, Daniel, Canaan, Poole, Long. No surprises here.
We’re just a few minutes from tip at the CFSB center for Murray’s one and only exhibition game against Bethel. The good news, the band is here. This is very important to the Racer basketball experience…