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Murray State Men’s Basketball Shatters Records in Season Opener

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Every Racer scored and 10 in double-figures as MSU wins for 22nd consecutive time at home

The Murray State Racers scored a record-breaking season opening win 173-95 over the visiting Greenville Panthers at the CFSB Center in Murray, Ky.

The records that fell in the first game of the 96th season of Racer Basketball are many; including the MSU single-game scoring mark of 173, as it easily surpassed the 138 the Racers scored against Campbellsville at old Racer Arena in 1994. The combined score of 268 points is also a new MSU program record, besting the 233 the Racers and Southeast Missouri scored in 2014. MSU’s first half scoring mark was 62, accomplished three times with the last coming in 2018. The Racers scored 87 in the opening half to smash that record. MSU’s 86 points in the second half is also a school record, surpassing the old mark of 81 in the same 1994 game with Campbellsville.

The Racers also rewrote the record book in the Ohio Valley Conference with league records for points, points in one half, combined points and most field goals attempted.

Every one of MSU’s 14 players scored, including 10 in double-figures. KJ Williams had 22 points and Devin Gilmore scored a career-high 20 as the two combined to make 20-of-23 shots. Justice Hill (three points shy with 10 rebounds and 11 assists) and Tevin Brown (two rebounds and one assist shy with 10 points) each flirted with a triple-double. Freshmen Dionte Bostick, Ja’Queze Kirby, Nicholas McMullen, Jackson Sivills and Matthew Smith all got into the act and scored their first points in their Murray State careers.

The style of play Greenville uses lends to high scoring games as they entered the contest averaging 99 points in losses to Samford and UMKC. The Racers held GU under their average and were able to handle the Panther’s full-court press which led to scoring 62 fast break points and 142 points in the paint. The Racers also held a 79-31 advantage on the boards. The Racers ended the game making 77-of-105 from the field for 73 percent, while they held Greenfield to 28 percent on 30-of-107.

The win also pushed the Racers’ home court winning streak to 22.

Next up for MSU is a Wednesday road contest against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro.

Game Notes

In MSU’s 96th season opener, the Racers get the win and are 83-13 all-time. Since a 2014 loss to Houston, the Racers have won six straight and 30 of the last 31.

The Racers have now opened the 23rd season in the history of the CFSB Center. MSU’s win in the home opener makes them 22-1 all-time in “The Bank” with the only loss being to Houston in 2014.

MSU’s home winning streak is now 22 and the sixth-longest in program history. If the Racers can win at home (Dec. 8) against Austin Peay, they will tie the fifth longest streak in program history of 23 that was set between 1930-33. The gold standard for home win streaks for MSU remains the 47 in a row the Racers posted from 1996-2000. This famous streak included winning the last 30 games as Racer Arena was closed out and the first 17 at the CFSB Center.

Tevin Brown started the day with 960 career points. He scored 10 today and has 970 in his Murray State career as he will soon become the 47th member of the MSU 1000-Point Club. Hopefully, KJ Williams will be in the club before the season is out. After scoring 22 points today, the junior now has 670 (648).

Justice Hill made his first start as a Racer in his debut, while Brion Whitley made his first in his 45th career game. Tevin Brown made his 66th career start. After coming off the bench much of last season, KJ Williams returned to the starting lineup making his 29th career start.

Kendra Sheehan

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