Racers face SIUE

Murray State forward Devin Gilmore rips away a rebound Monday at Edwardsville, Illinois. 

MURRAY — Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, schedules of basketball teams in the Ohio Valley Conference, as well as elsewhere in the nation, have experienced some strong twists and turns this season.

Games have been postponed. Then they have been rescheduled. Then, they have been postponed again. 

It has been a topsy-turvy process that has meant some teams have faced circumstances they could not have imagined being possible. 

Take the Murray State men’s team, for example. In the past week, they have faced the prospect of playing three games in four days, two of which were on consecutive days, something usually reserved for early-season tournaments or the postseason.

As the old saying goes, though, what does not kill people makes them stronger. That seems to be true of the Racers. That three-game stretch did not result in a single loss and that included a win at OVC foe Southern Illinois University Edwardsville that may have marked the Racers’ best outing so far this season.

Murray State played a complete game Monday in dominating a team that traditionally has proven to be very difficult for the Racers to handle on its home court. The 86-57 win came as the Racers showed no signs of fatigue, starting strong and finishing stronger. 

So now, thanks again to the pandemic, it is the Cougars that the Racers will greet on the hardwood, just five days after their first meeting. This encounter is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the CFSB Center.

Murray State will be looking for anything close to its performance from Monday. On that occasion, the Racers shot better than 50% from the field, out-rebounded the Cougars 41-27 and only committed eight turnovers.

Junior forward KJ Williams had a career day with 28 points and 14 rebounds, while junior guard Tevin Brown backed that effort with 18 points, all on made 3-pointers. Sophomore guard Chico Carter Jr. had 14 points, while sophomore forward Demond Robinson had 10 points.

Meanwhile, the Racers were able to limit SIUE guard Mike Adewunmi to 17 points.  

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