CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -- After hitting his first few shots,
Isaiah Canaan was confident he was going to have a good night.
Canaan scored 35 points to keep Murray State (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) unbeaten
with an 87-75 victory Saturday night over Austin Peay. He scored
the first 16 points for the Racers (16-0, 4-0), who tied the best
start in school history -- matching the 1935-36 squad. He hit seven
of his eight 3-point attempts.
"I saw the first two go in and my eyes lit up," Canaan said.
"I started feeling like I could make the next shot and I had a lot
of open shots so I took them and my teammates did a good job of
finding me and I was knocking them down and was glad that the shots
I took was falling."
The game marked the 112th meeting between the conference rivals
in a series dating back 71 years in which Murray State leads 71-41.
Murray State, under the direction of first year coach Steve
Prohm, hit eight 3s in the first half to build a 17-point lead
before the Governors rallied with an 11-1 run shortly before the
end of the half.
"(Isaiah's) done this before," Prohm said. "I chased him
everywhere in AAU basketball. He's a special player, he's a gamer,
he plays big, the bigger the game the better he plays. The first
half, he was tremendous. I think he's one of the elite guards in
Ed Daniel had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Racers, who are
one of three unbeaten teams left this season. Syracuse and Baylor
also haven't lost.
"I knew Austin Peay would be extremely ready and I thought they
played extremely well," Prohm said. "I thought they did play
well. When we could have punched them and knocked them out they
responded each and every way making a play on both ends of the
floor at times but we were able to withstand the runs and our goal
was to try and get (the lead) back up to 10 and we were finally
able to get it."
Josh Terry scored 16 points to lead the Governors (3-13, 0-3).
"Nobody likes to lose and we're blessed to be 16-0," Canaan
said. "We feel good, we think we deserve it with all the hard work
we put in over the summer and all the hard work we continue to put
in everyday at practice going at each other, pushing each other and
trying to push each one to the next level because we know there are
going to be games like this on the road when we have to come
together and fight to the end of the clock."
Less than 5 minutes into the second half Donte Poole made
back-to-back 3s, giving the Racers a 12-point lead. Austin Peay
fought back and trailed by three before Daniel hit a free throw to
extend the lead with 5:26 left.
His basket made it 80-73 with 1:48 to seal the victory.
In the last minute of the game an intentional foul was called on
Melvin Baker and Daniel, who came up from the hard foul smiling,
took the line and went 1 for 2.
With 45.2 seconds on the clock the Murray State fans overtook
the Dunn Center with chants of 'Undefeated' as Murray State players
encouraged the cheers with pumping their arms in the air.
"It was an unbelievable atmosphere," Prohm said. "There was
an 'undefeated' chant at the end of the game with about 45 seconds
left and it was great but as a coach I thought it was a little
Austin Peay will face Eastern Kentucky next Thursday while
Murray State will host Jacksonville State the same night.
"They've got a terrific basketball team," Governors coach Dave
Loos said. "Of course Canaan in the first half was incredible --
I've never seen anybody shoot any better than that. We tried
several different things, we had success in the second half in
trapping him and we intended to do that in the first half but
weren't as effective. They've got a very good team, I was very