Thursday, February 7, 2013


Murray State officially welcomed the Belmont Bruins to the Ohio Valley Conference today, beating them 79-74 in a thriller at Murray.  The game was televised on ESPN-U, and the folks at the U should be clapping themselves on the back for deciding to show this game.  The Racers have struggled with their outside shooting all year, which is a big part of why they went into this game with two losses in the OVC.  But they were hot tonight, and held a double-digit lead through most of the game.  However, Belmont shoots over 40 percent from 3-point range, and they suddenly caught on fire with about 6 minutes to go.  With around 4 minutes left, the Racers still led 70-60, but an array of three-pointers from Belmont tied the game at 74 with only a minute left.  With the sellout crowd nervously cheering, Murray's big gun, Isaiah Canaan, calmly brought the ball up court, broke around a screen, and NAILED A THREE-POINTER to put the Racers up 77-74 with 33 seconds left.  (UK doesn't have a single player who could have made that shot.  Nor, for that matter, do most of the teams in the SEC.)  Belmont finally turned the ball over on its next possession, and the Racers made their free throws to seal the victory.  Canaan went 7-16 from the field, and 15-17 from the line, to finish with 26 points.

This was a huge win for the Racers, who are now 8-2 in the OVC.  But it wasn't that bad a loss for Belmont, who are now 10-1 in the OVC and who will be confident in their chances should the teams meet again in the OVC Tournament.  That tournament will be held back at the old Municipal Auditorium in Nashville from March 6 to the 9th.  If you like basketball, you will want to keep an eye out for this tournament.  Because if it is anything like tonight's game, it will be a classic.

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