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Men's College Basketball
Preview
Morehead St. vs Murray St.
When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, March 6, 2015
Where: Nashville Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee

Fresh off an undefeated Ohio Valley Conference regular season, No. 24 Murray State starts its quest for a league tournament title when it faces Morehead State in the semifinals in Nashville on Friday. The top-seeded Racers - winners of 24 straight - defeated the Eagles in their only meeting this season, a 66-57 decision on the road Jan. 3. Fifth-seeded Morehead State comes in having won five straight, including a 76-65 victory over UT Martin in Thursday's quarterfinals.

Both teams can score, with the Eagles averaging 70.9 points and the Racers ranked 13th in the country entering Thursday at 78.8. But the Murray State duo of Cameron Payne (20.2 points, 5.7 assists) and Jarvis Williams (15.4 points, 8.3 rebounds) is one of the best in the country, giving the Racers the edge over most of the teams they face. The Eagles rely on Angelo Warner (13.3 points, 52 3-pointers), who scored 27 points Thursday, and Brent Arrington (11.2 points) to lead a balanced attack.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU

ABOUT MOREHEAD STATE (17-16): Any coach hopes his team peaks just as its going into the postseason, and Morehead State's Sean Woods is no different. And Woods may be getting his wish, with the Eagles having won 10 of their last 13 games. “I feel like we are playing our best basketball of the season right now,” Woods told the Morehead News. “Our guys are playing very unselfish on both ends of the floor. All they want to do is win.”

ABOUT MURRAY STATE (26-4): An upset loss hurts at the time, but can end up being a motivation long after the fact. That's the case with Murray State's semifinal upset loss to Eastern Kentucky in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament last year, which - along with an ugly 35-point setback to Valparaiso in November, also in Nashville - has spurred this year's team to work to avoid that disappointment again. “Losing on that court again brought back so many memories for the guys who were here last year,” Williams told the Murray Ledger & Times. “Losing out there brought everybody together. All the selfishness went out the window. Winning, man, it changes people.”

TIP-INS

1. Morehead State has averaged 82.8 points over their five-game winning streak.

2. Rebounds could be the key to this one as Murray State is 30-0 when outrebounding its opponent and 5-4 when tying or grabbing fewer boards than the opposition. The Eagles won the board battle in the previous meeting 37-30.

3. The Racers' 24-game winning streak is the second-longest active run in the country, behind only Kentucky's 30.

PREDICTION: Murray State 82, Morehead State 67



Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Morehead St. 17-16 W5 7-6 7-9 3-1 2-5 15-11 12-6
Murray St. 26-4 W24 14-1 11-1 1-2 6-0 20-4 16-0
Last Meeting
Morehead St. Murray St.
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
1/3/15 MURR 66 MORE 57 57 33 32.7 66 28 51.2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Morehead St. B. Arrington 15 36.4 4
Murray St. J. Moss 23 72.7 5
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Morehead St. B. Reader 10 7 3
Murray St. J. Williams 8 3 5
Assists Player  
Morehead St. B. Reader 3
Murray St. C. Payne 7
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Morehead St. A. Warner 411 48.5 77
Murray St. C. Payne 605 46.1 120
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Morehead St. K. Mashour 191 52 139
Murray St. J. Williams 248 110 138
Assists Player  
Morehead St. K. Storey 135
Murray St. C. Payne 172
Quickchart Matchup
Morehead St. Off vs  Murray St. Defense
68.9 Points For
67.1 Points Against
43.5 FG%
40.7 FG%
31.4 Reb
30.5 Reb
Murray St. Off vs  Morehead St. Defense
77.6 Points For
66.0 Points Against
47.7 FG%
43.5 FG%
30.5 Reb
27.9 Reb