No. 10/12 Murray State Downs Cougars to Remain Unbeaten
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - No. 10/12 Murray State proved too much for SIUE men's basketball Saturday night. The undefeated Racers improved to 20-0 with an 82-65 win over the Cougars in front of a 4,157 fans and a national television audience on ESPNU. The crowd was the second largest crowd to see a game at Vadalabene Center.
"I thought the atmosphere was incredible," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said. "Our crowd was great. They cheered us on and hung in there with us."
Murray State, which improved to 8-0 in Ohio Valley Conference play, is the last remaining unbeaten team in Division I. The Cougars dropped to 5-12 overall and 3-5 in the OVC.
Mark Yelovich scored 17 points and added 11 rebounds for the fourth double-double of his career. Derian Shaffer scored 12 points and grabbed 11 boards, earning the first double-double of his career. It was the first time SIUE has had two players with a double-double in the same game since 2005.
"(Derian) did a tremendous job rebounding. He and Yelovich played extremely well tonight," Forrester said.
SIUE got off to a good start and led 12-10 at the first media timeout with 15:41 left in the first half. Murray State scored the next 16 points following the timeout to lead 26-14 with 12:16 before the break. The Racers led 49-35 at halftime. Murray State pushed the advantage to as many as 20 in the second half.
"We didn't play a complete game tonight," Forrester said. "Give credit to Murray State because they were really tough."
Isaiah Canaan led four Racers in double figures with 21 points. Jewaun Long scored 17 points. Donte Poole scored 14. Ed Daniel added 10.
"Playing on your home floor against the No. 10 team, which is undefeated, on national TV is great," Forrester added. "It is a great thing for the entire university. Tonight was such a high for us. The challenge now is to stay focused."
SIUE next plays Sat., Jan. 28 at Jacksonville State.