If the Racers were feeling any pressure from being ranked as the 24th best team in the nation, it didn’t show on the court tonight.
“We been trying not to think about it too much,” Isaiah Cannan said after the game, “because that’s what a lot of teams get caught up in. It’s good to be ranked, but we have to continue to do what Murray State basketball does”
The Racers led all but the first two minutes, winning their 11th straight game to start the season, 89 – 65 over Lipscomb.
Lipscomb’s defensive gameplan entering tonight’s game was made immediately clear: stop the Racers from matching their 43% 3-point shooting on the season.
Not only did they fail at that, (the Racers shot 50% from 3-point range through the first 33 minutes, when the reserves took over most of the action) but their 3-2 zone led to monster games from Murray State forwards Ed Daniel and Ivan Aska, who combined for 32 points on 15-17 shooting from the field.
“We wanted to make sure there were no letdowns tonight,” head coach Steve Prohm told us. “I thought our guys, after the first initial defensive possession, were really good.
Both Cannan and Donte Poole had problems getting their shots to fall in the first half, going a combined 2-10 of 3-point range. Yet, the Racers still shot 5-13 from behind the arc, including an improbable contested 3 to open the Racers scoring from Ed Daniel as the shot clock expired.
Murray State, 4th in the nation in forced turnovers coming into tonight’s game, continued to impress on defense, forcing 23 turnovers in the game against a Lipscomb team also used to be on the positive side of the turnover column.
“Our game plan is real simple,” Prohm said. “We just play hard, pressure the wings, fly around, play with great effort. That’s really something that separated the game, I think out pressure really enabled us to extend the lead.”
“Deflections is something we want to do because when you’re getting deflections, you’re getting hands on balls, you get a chance to run through baskets and get easy passes. ” – Steve Prohm
One word used in the post game conference: tired. Coach Prohm said that he and the coaches were tired after a team dinner Wednesday night, partially due to the coverage the Racers are receiving. But don’t expect Prohm to stop taking phone calls.
“We’ve gotten a lot of attention lately, and that’s great for our program.”
Next up, the final non-conference game for the Racers before OVC play starts, as Murray State hosts Arkansas State on Saturday.