MURRAY — Unsurprisingly, the game between the Racers and the Brescia Bearcats wasn’t close. It was total domination for Murray State, both in the paint and on the perimeter as they ran away with it 114-48. Ten different Racers scored, and Chico Carter Jr. led the way with his 20 points and nine assists.
Another standout performer was Anthony Smith, who finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds, and had a double-double by halftime.
“It was a good win for us,” Smith said. “All we were focused on was dominating the defensive side of the floor and just coming in with effort and intensity for the game.”
With an opponent like Brescia, the Racers had a chance to really open up the offense and push the pace, which resulted in 64 points in the pain and 29 assists on 42 made shots.
“Pleased with our effort tonight at both ends of the floor,” head coach Matt McMahon said. “I think what really stood out to me was the unselfishness offensively. Really a lot of fun to watch the guys share the ball, make the extra pass, really execute offensively, so we’re on to Southern Illinois on Tuesday.”
Smith led the Racers at the free throw line as part of a team effort that saw them shoot their best percentage of the season (77%) with his 11-13 night. Prior to last night the Racers had struggled to take advantage of their free throws, but McMahon said that part of the game will work itself out.
“We don’t want to overanalyze them, but I was pleased to see us shoot them at a good rate tonight and I thought especially in the first half we were really aggressive getting to the basket,” McMahon said. “Whether it was off dribble penetration or post feeds. Anthony, I thought really impacted the game with his motor and he had a double-double at halftime, and we didn’t run a single play for him. he just plays so hard and really a great credit to him.”
The win marks the end of just the fourth game of the season, and the growth of this team is still something to pay attention to as players like Carter and DaQuan Smith improve their play at the guard position and Demond Robinson continues to get more comfortable on the offensive end.
“We have really good player. Our point guards are really good, they just have to learn,” McMahon said. “So we are just goping to continue to teach them. I want them to play confident and aggressively. I thought you saw that tonight, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them continue to grow as the season goes on.”
As the Racers continue further into the season, McMahon’s job seemingly becomes harder because the post players are all playing at an extremely high level. Last night Smith led the way, but KJ Williams had an ultra-efficient night with 14 points in 11 minutes on 6-7 shooting, Darnell Cowart added 13 points, Devin Gilmore had 10 points on 5-6 shooting and seven rebounds, and Robinson finished with 16 points on 8-9 from the floor.
“It’s challenging from my standpoint,” McMahon said. “I think all five have been very productive for us. All five guys impact the team in different ways. Demond has made a lot of progress in the last two weeks. I think he’s really going to help our team this year and then I’m really excited about his future here.”
Next up is another home game against the Salukis of Southern Illinois on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
“It’s a great rivalry that spans many decades and I hope we’ll just have a monster crowd in here on Tuesday night,” McMahon said. “A great student crowd and great community support like we always do, to take on a Southern Illinois team.”