Basketball Prediction: Murray State Racers vs Austin Peay Governors
Saturday, January 07, 2012
by Joe Rodriguez
The Racers, one of only four unbeatens in college basketball, looks to equal a 76-year record for the best start in school history at 16-0 against the Governors, who have been plagued by injuries, inconsistent play, and close losses.
Murray State shares the conference lead and sits atop the college basketball world in the rare air of the undefeated, along with top-ranked Syracuse and top-10 strongholds Baylor and Missouri.
Austin Peay, which started the season with nine straight losses before winning three in a row, has dropped its last three, including two Ohio Valley games by a combined six points.
Murray State Racers (15-0): Murray State leads the Ohio Valley in scoring (75.2), field goal percentage (48.8), 3-point field goal percentage (43.9), free throw accuracy (75.8) and steals (9.3). The Racers are led by standout junior guard Isaiah Canaan, who averages 17.6 points and 4.0 assists while shooting almost 50 percent from the field and 48 percent from 3-point range. He joined Murray State's 1,000-point club in Thursday's 76-67 win over Eastern Kentucky with 16 points. Senior forward Ivan Aska missed the Eastern Kentucky game with a broken knuckle on his right hand and his status is uncertain. Aska averages 12.6 points and a team-high 6.0 rebounds. Donte Poole, who equalled a career-high with 22 points against Eastern Kentucky, is averaging 13.3 points and has a team-high 34 steals.
Austin Peay Governors (3-12): The Governors rank 10th (out of 11) in the Ohio Valley in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense, allowing 74.3 points and 47 percent shooting. Austin Peay dropped its first two league contests on the road and lost late leads in defeats at Eastern Kentucky (67-65) and Morehead State (68-64). The Governors start four seniors and lost preseason All-OVC performer Anthony Campbell to a season-ending knee injury in early December. TyShwan Edmondson leads the team in scoring at 14.0 and has topped the 20-point mark in three of his last four games, while Josh Terry tallies 13.2 and is coming off a 24-point effort against Morehead State.
1. The coaches are at opposite ends of the spectrum in this rivalry. Austin Peay's Dave Loos, now in his 22nd season, is the dean of Ohio Valley coaches and has 354 wins at Austin Peay. Murray State's Steve Prohm is in his first year leading the Racers and has the best record among first-year coaches in the nation.
2. Murray State leads the all-time series with Austin Peay 73-41 and has won three of the last four meetings.
3. Austin Peay has not started an Ohio Valley season 0-3 since the 1992-93 season and the Governors have not had a losing mark in league play in 10 years.
BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Racers 72, Governors 68.
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