Dayton head coach Archie Miller didn’t waste any time during his post game comments. “That’s as tenacious of a team of five to seven guys on defense that I’ve faced in awhile…Their pressure, the way that they play defense, is really really hard to go against. We won’t be the only team that struggles against them.”
And his team shot 49% from the field.
In a game many expected to go down to the wire, Murray State forced 11 1st half turnovers, and held Dayton to 3-21 shooting from 3-point range, on their way to a 75-58 win in the CFSB Center.
“It was a great win for us today,” Murray State head coach Steve Prohm said after the game. “We were really looking forward to this game.”
The Racers set the tone defensively early, forcing 4 turnovers before the first media timeout. By the end of the half, the Flyers had turned over the ball 11 times.
But the Racers had trouble taking control of the game early. Murray State struggled offensively at the start, only hitting 2 of their first 7 shots from the field.
That struggle wouldn’t last long.
The Racers hit over 45% from the field in the first half, and used a late run to take a 6 point lead into the locker room.
And from there, the Racers were off. While Murray State shot well in the first, it only got better in the second, thanks to big three pointers from Isaiah Canaan.
“If you can’t defend the three point line, I don’t care what else you’re going to do, you’re going to have a hard time winning.”
“If you can’t defend the three point line,” Miller told us, “I don’t care what else you’re going to do, you’re going to have a hard time winning”
And they didn’t defend the 3-point line.
Murray State hit 6 of their first 7 from behind the arc, led by 3 triples from Canaan in the first 5 minutes.
By the time Dayton got to the first media timeout, the Flyers were already behind by double digits. And unlike other teams the Racers have faced, Dayton never threatened again.
With Ed Daniel on the bench in foul trouble, Latreze Mushatt scored 12 points in the second half, helping the Racers pull away.
“I thought Mushatt off the bench, his energy was great today,” Prohm said.
Mushatt ended the game with 14 points and 5 rebounds for the Racers. Canaan would finish the game with a game high 21 points, hitting 5-8 from three point range.
The win moves the Racers to 9-0. To get to 10 straight wins, they’ll have to beat a currently ranked Memphis team at the Fed Ex Forum.
Is the undefeated record causing any pressure? Not according to Prohm.
“No, it’s not a burden, Prohm said. “I want them to enjoy this tonight, this is a great win for them.”