Murray State advanced to a 12-10 record on the season after beating Missouri State on Saturday, Jan. 28. The 74-71 victory over the Bears gives the Racers a 7-5 Missouri Valley Conference record with just eight more games to play before the conference tournament.
The home win was made even sweet when Memphis Grizzlies NBA All-Star and former Racer Ja Morant made a surprise visit for the CFSB Center on Ja Morant Poster Day.
Brian Moore, Jr., and Rob Perry each scored 17 points, while MSU got 16 points from Jamari Smith and 12 from DJ Burns to help the Racers improve to 8-1 this season at the CFSB Center.
“I’m proud of our guys, it was a great win,” Murray State head coach Steve Prohm said. “And obviously is great to have former players back on campus and have Ja (Morant) take time out of his schedule to watch us play and visit with our guys, it was terrific.”
In a game that had nine tied scores, the Racers created separation in the final three minutes of the first half and the first three of the second. Kenny White scored down the lane to put the Racers in front 37-35 at halftime and Burns scored a three-point play when MSU began the second half on a 7-3 run to lead 44-38 with 16:36 remaining.
Tied 53-53 at 11:39, the Racer defense performed well and held the Bears scoreless for the next five minutes. White scored four points and Burns had another three-point play and the Racers were in front 66-58 with 3:02 left. The Racers made six-of-seven from the free throw line to finish the win.
“This game was huge especially since we let one slip at SIU so we came here hungry today knowing we had to get this one,” Brian Moore said. “Like Coach Prohm said, as we keep winning our home games we’ve got to win a tough one on the road.”
The Racers will be back in action on their home court on Wednesday, Feb. 1 as they host Belmont and look to get revenge on the Bruins after an 80-65 loss two weeks ago. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. in Murray.
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