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No. 14 Murray State Favored By 1 1/2 At Home Against No. 16 Saint Mary’s

February 18, 2012 – By Scott

 

Murray State was the last unbeaten team in college basketball before they fell to Tennessee State on February 9.  Still, they are the 14th ranked team in the country and have compiled a 25-1 overall record this year.

This success has landed them a contest in a nationally televised matchup as they host No. 16 Saint Mary’s on Saturday in game that can be seen live at 6:00 pm ET on ESPN.

This will mark the second time the Racers have faced a ranked opponent.  The first was a 76-72 win over then-No. 20 Memphis back on December 11.

The matchup with the Gaels has without a doubt sparked up a lot of excitement around campus in a game that has been labeled a Bracketbuster.  Saint Mary’s has an overall record of 23-4 and are in first in the West Coast Conference.

“It’s kind of like everyone wants to see what we’re going to do how we’re going to react. So, I mean, it’s just a good test for us,” Racers guard Donte Poole said. “It’s going to be a very intense game.”

The Gaels head into CFSB Center having dropped 2 of their last 3 games, including a 75-60 loss on the road at Loyola Marymount on Wednesday.  After surrendering just 62.1 points per game, the Gaels gave up over 70 points in their two recent losses.  They were without guard Stephen Holt in Wednesday’s loss and Matthew Dellavedova injured his ankle in the game.

“We’re not doing a good job defensively, and it’s been coming on. It’s like I told them, `You get what you tolerate,’” said Gaels coach Randy Bennett. “We knew these last two, three weeks were going to be tough any. We go play Murray State. They’ve lost one game, so it’s going to be a tough game.”

A tough one it could be if they cannot find a way to at least slow down Murray Sate guard Isaiah Cannan.  Cannan is averaging 19.2 points per game as well as leading the team in assists with 3.8.

Murray State has been tagged as 1 1/2-point home favorites over Saint Mary’s according to NCAA College Basketball Betting Lines.

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