OVC Ball Statbox
|1-0 (0-0 American)|
|0-1 (0-0 OVC)|
|29/64 (45.3%)||Field Goals||24/64 (37.5%)|
|8/21 (38.1%)||3-Point FG||6/35 (17.1%)|
|11/17 (64.7%)||Free Throws||20/27 (74.1%)|
|42 (12/30)||Rebounds (O/D)||38 (11/27)|
|2nd Chance Pts|
|Points off TO|
|Pts in the Paint|
Tempo Tracker (Possessions)
Murray State offense
|Points:||Pollard (19)||Payne (21)|
|Rebounds:||Washington (8)||Williams (11)|
|Assists:||Barnes (6)||Payne (5)|
|Steals:||Weary Jr. (2)||Payne (3)|
Tonight, Cameron Payne couldn’t be the hero. The sophomore point had two three’s in the final 40 seconds, the first to take a lead, the other to tie — but missed them both. A last-second prayer from T.J. Sapp would also go unanswered, sending Murray State to their first loss in a home opener since 1989, 77-74 to Houston.
Trailing 76-70 with 1:21 left, The Racers still nearly pulled this one out.
Jarvis Williams was fouled and made a pair of free throws…then in a full-court press, immediately forced a Houston turnover which turned into a Payne dunk, cutting the Cougars lead to 76-74. Murray State would set up the full- pressed again and forced another UH turnover…but the ensuing possession led to the first Payne missed three, and Murray State couldn’t get a shot when they needed it.
Payne led the Racers with 21 points, while Jeffery Moss tossed in 18. Williams notched a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds and Justin Seymour had 12 points.
After leading by as many as 11 points in the first half, the Racers saw their lead whittled to four at the half. Cold shooting plagued the Racers in the second half against a zone defense and the Cougars eventually took their first lead with 6:20 remaining.
Not many people knew what to expect from the new look Cougars — but three starters finished the game with double-digit scoring, led by Devonta Pollard. Houston edged the Racers on the glass, and out shot the Racers from three.
MSU finished the game 24-of-64 from the field, but were cold in the second half hitting just 12-of-35. The Racers managed 6-of-25 from 3-point range.
Tyler Rambo did not play tonight, due to an administrative academic issue. We should know by early next week whether Rambo will play at all before the semester ends in early December. Jonathan Fairell played just 11 minutes — not because of an issue with his hip, but rather because he fouled out in that period of time.
Murray returns home to the CFSB Center to host Brescia November 20th.