Daily Egyptian

Murray State Racers gallop over SIU basketball 81-73

By Ryan Demer

The SIU men’s basketball team fell 81-73 to the Murray State Racers (3-1) on Saturday in a tight matchup in Murray, Kentucky.

Southern came off a 42-point loss to nationally ranked Louisville on Tuesday and hoped to regain confidence in its second game on the road this week.

The Salukis committed several turnovers in the opening minutes which allowed the Racers to jump out to an 11-4 lead.

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In the first half, the Racers shot only 2-10 from beyond the arc. Execution of 3-pointers in the first half could have put the game out of reach early for the Salukis.

Southern claimed the lead by the midway point of the half with an eight-point scoring run that made the score 12-11.

After SIU’s guards racked up multiple steals, points scored off turnovers by junior guard Sean Lloyd helped the Salukis build a 30-22 lead. Lloyd finished the first half with 12 points and added a team-high — and new career-high — 19 points in the contest.

Despite the large lead, SIU was unable to extend the advantage to double-digits. The Racers eventually fought back to make the score 35-31 late in the first half.

Southern attempted to score on a last-second layup which missed, but junior center Kavion Pippen cleaned up the play for a buzzer-beating tip-in that gave the Salukis a 37-31 lead at the half.

The second half saw a much different story than the first, as scoring came in bunches.

Southern was unable to slow down the quick Murray State offense, as the Racers rallied for 50 points in the half behind their 7-14 shooting from 3-point territory. The Racers also shot 16-29 in the half and played efficient offense that SIU had no answer for.

The Salukis maintained a two-point lead with just over four minutes remaining in the game. From there, Murray State hit two consecutive 3-pointers that built the lead 69-65 in favor of the Racers.

Southern rallied and made the contest a one-possession game on multiple occasions, but the Racers never failed to score in answer to SIU.

After desperate intentional fouls committed by the Salukis resulted in Murray State free throws, the game was essentially over.

A fast-break dunk in the winding seconds from the Racers was the nail in the coffin for the Salukis.

The Salukis (2-2) will return home to Carbondale on Wednesday to face the SIUE Cougars at SIU Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Sports writer Ryan Demer can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @RyanDemer_DE 
To stay up to date with all your SIU sports news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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