Murray State (8-1) at Arkansas State (6-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 19, 8:35 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: ASU Convocation Center (10,563) -- Jonesboro, Arkansas. Television: Racer TV Network, ESPN3. Home Record: MSU 4-0, ASU 4-0. Away Record: MSU 2-0, ASU 2-3. Neutral Record: MSU 2-1, ASU 0-0. Conference Record: MSU 0-0, ASU 0-2. Series Record: Murray State leads, 20-10.
GAME NOTES: The Arkansas State Red Wolves will try to keep their perfect home record intact as they host the Murray State Racers in a non-conference tilt on Wednesday.
Steve Prohm's Racers are fresh off of a 75-70 home win over Western Kentucky. Murray State is currently on a school-record 15-game road winning streak after not losing one away from home at all in 2011-12. The Racers have also won five straight overall to improve to 8-1. Their only loss came to Colorado (81-74) in the championship round of the Charleston Classic. Murray State has notched wins over Auburn, St. John's, and Evansville this season and will conclude its brief two-game road trip at Dayton on Saturday.
The Red Wolves are 6-3 after their 69-57 victory over Austin Peay on Sunday at home. The win was the second in a row for Arkansas State, which is on a six- game home winning streak as well. Coach John Brady saw his squad lose its first two Sun Belt Conference games before beginning its current streak by downing St. Bonaventure. In its seven non-conference games, ASU has averaged 74.6 points a game and held its opposition to an average of 10.9 less.
This will be the 31st meeting in history between thee schools on the hardwood. Murray State holds a 20-10 edge in the all-time series after its 66-53 triumph a season ago.
Murray State played well on both ends of the floor its last time out registering a .491 field goal percentage including a 9-of-18 mark from beyond the arc while limiting the Hilltoppers to 43.3 percent shooting with just five makes on 25 three-point attempts. The Racers led for most of the contest but had to overcome a narrow two-point deficit in the second half. Star point guard Isaiah Cannon led the way with 25 points and five assists while Ed Daniel contributed 16 points and eight rebounds.
Cannon is ranked seventh among Division I programs with 21.3 ppg and is also adding four assists per contest. Daniel is having a stellar season as well with a double-double average of 17 points and 11.7 boards per contest. A third scoring option was missing from last season's stellar campaign, but Stacy Wilson is filling that void with 16.1 ppg.
Arkansas State managed to escape its bout with Austin Peay despite converting just 38.5 percent of its field goal attempts and allowing the Governors to shoot 50 percent from the floor. ASU played well enough to force APSU into 28 turnovers and outscore it at the foul line, 14-4. Ed Townsel and Trey Finney netted 15 points each, although the former went 6-of-20 from the field to do so. Senior forward Brandon Peterson was a force on the defensive end with five steals and two blocks.
Peterson is carrying a double-double average with 11.7 points and 10.1 boards per game. Townsel is pacing the Red Wolves in the scoring column with 14.6 ppg. Freshman forward Raeford Worsham is a player to watch as he has tallied 10 or more points in five of his last six outings.
The Racers have been nearly impossible to beat in the regular season under Prohm with just one loss since the beginning of last year's schedule. Murray State will really be tested in this one by an ASU squad that is tough in its own building. However, it is hard to see anyone stopping Canaan, who thrives under pressure.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Murray State 72, Arkansas State 64
12/19 10:39:17 ET