Scores

Final

SE Missouri St 73

(12-10, 7-3 OVC)

(10) Murray State 81

(22-0, 10-0 OVC)

    Coverage: ESPNU/WatchESPN

    8:00 PM ET, February 2, 2012

    CFSB Center, Murray, Kentucky

    1 2 T
    SEMO 39 3473
    #10MURR 33 4881

    Top Performers

    Southeast Missouri State: M. Brister 17 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    Murray State: I. Canaan 32 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Isaiah Canaan scores 32 points as Murray State pulls away

    Associated Press

    MURRAY, Ky. -- Even though the first half wasn't pretty, Murray State ended the night with its 22nd consecutive victory.

    Isaiah Canaan scored 24 of his 32 points in the second half and the Racers (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) remained unbeaten with an 81-73 win over Southeast Missouri State on Thursday night.

    Jewuan Long added 13 points for Murray State (22-0, 10-0), which is off to the best start by an Ohio Valley Conference team since Western Kentucky opened 21-0 in 1953-54.

    "Isaiah Canaan is a special player," said Southeast Missouri coach Dickey Nutt. "Special players step up in special games and that's what he did . He hit big shots when the game was on the line, especially contested and also from very deep range, so I have to give him credit for that."

    Marcus Brister had 17 points and eight rebounds for the Redhawks (12-10, 7-3).

    The lead changed hands three times in the first half and Murray State trailed the Redhawks 39-33 at the break. Murray State took the lead for good less than 10 minutes into the second half.

    Southeast Missouri forced 14 turnovers, but Murray State outrebounded the Redhawks 43-34.

    With the Redhawks leading 46-40 and 15:38 to go, Long took an elbow to the chin from SE Missouri's Marland Smith. A minute later, after two missed layups and a jumper, Ivan Aska ran down the court, shared a look with Canaan and said, "Let's go bro." Ten seconds later, Canaan connected with his second 3 in a row.

    "I knew (Canaan) had a slow start in the first half and we was down a little bit in the first half and the second half but I knew he was going to come along soon so I wasn't worried at all," Long said. "We've seen it too many times and I had faith he was going to come through."

    After three Donte Poole free throws, Canaan sank another 3-pointer with 13 minutes to go.

    "They (teammates) stay on me all the time for situations like these so when they come down to games like these and you see all the great numbers, I try to give them all the credit because they prepared me for situations like this to go out and do things like this," Canaan said. "Ivan and the rest of the teammates were just saying, `let's go' and it went on from there and I started knocking down a few shots and we started getting aggressive in the defense like we should have been in the first half and things turned out for the best."

    Aska added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Racers, and his dunk with 1:58 to go gave Murray State a 12-point lead -- its largest of the game.

    Murray State trailed by as many as 11 in the first half, but coach Steve Prohm never called a timeout.

    "I get a $200 bonus for every timeout I leave up there," Prohm joked. "I've got a lot of confidence in these guys because they've got great character and they've got great toughness. I'm not a yeller and a screamer, I learned from coach (Billy) Kennedy to be even-keeled because they're going to respond how I respond and that's what I believe in my gut and my heart and we haven't lost our composure."

    The two teams meet again in Cape Girardeau on Feb. 15.

    Prohm and company remain unfazed.

    "We're just going to keep doing the same thing we're doing," the coach said. "Preach to these guys everyday about being humble and handling themselves with great humility and they've done that at the highest level. I couldn't be more proud of them."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    SEMO
    MURR
    Points 73 81
    FG Made-Attempted 28-61 (.459) 23-57 (.404)
    3P Made-Attempted 3-14 (.214) 8-21 (.381)
    FT Made-Attempted 14-23 (.609) 27-35 (.771)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 21 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 11 12

    2011-12 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Feb 2, 2012 @MURR 81, SEMO 73Recap
    Feb 15, 2012 MURR 75, @SEMO 66Recap

    Research Notes

    Despite struggling from the field in the 2nd half, Murray State rallied from a 6-point halftime deficit by hitting the offensive glass and taking care of business from the charity stripe.
      [+]
    Being the last remaining undefeated Division I team from a non-Power 6 conference has been a good predictor of success for the postseason. Since 1990, Murray State is the 6th non-Power 6 Conference team to be the last team in the country to lose. 4 of the previous 5 advanced to that year's Final Four, and the other made it to the Elite Eight.
      [+]
    Murray State trailed Southeast Missouri by 6 points at halftime, its first halftime deficit in 11 home games this season. In the second half, Isaiah Canaan scored 24 of his game-high 32 points as the Racers outscored the Redhawks 48-34 to improve to 22-0 this season.
      [+]

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