No. 10 Murray St. 65, UT-Martin 58

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 04, 2012
Isaiah Canaan, Latreze Mushatt and Jewuan Long each scored 11 points and 10th-ranked Murray State remained the lone undefeated men's team in Division I, beating Tennessee-Martin 65-58 Saturday night. The Racers (23-0, 11-0 Ohio Valley Conference) brought plenty of fans to cheer the school's longest winning streak. Combined with a ''We Back Pat'' night dedicated to alum Pat Summitt helping raise money for Alzheimer's, a sold-out crowd of 4,700 packed the Elam Center with fans lining the upper walkway. Tennessee Martin (3-22, 0-12) lost its 13th straight. All those Murray State fans had an impact. With six seconds on the shot clock, they chanted a quick count and got Tennessee-Martin's Omari Minor to hurry a 3 that hit nothing but air. As the final seconds ticked off, those Racers fans chanted, ''Un-de-feat-ed.'' Murray State improved to 40-3 all-time against the Skyhawks and 18-3 in Martin. Dane Smith led the Skyhawks with 24 points and Myles Taylor added 14. The Skyhawks outrebounded Murray State 47-39, but the Racers outscored them in the paint (38-30), off turnovers (11-3) and had a big edge off the bench (24-8). Tennessee-Martin kept it close in the first half with five ties and four lead changes after Murray State looked ready to blow the Skyhawks off the court in the opening minutes by scoring the first seven points, the last on a layup by Mushatt. Mike Liabo answered finally with a 3-pointer for the Skyhawks, and that started a 13-2 spurt keyed by six points from Taylor, and his jumper with 13:50 left gave Tennessee-Martin a 13-9 lead that would be its biggest of the game. Troy King hit a jumper that pulled the Skyhawks into their final tie at 19. Mushatt came back with another layup with 7:23 left to put Murray State ahead to stay. Neither team could hit from beyond the arc early, but the Skyhawks pulled up far too often for 3-pointers that clanked off the rim in going 1 of 10 in the first half. Murray State wasn't much better (2 of 12). The Racers did manage to have a 13-6 edge in points on second chances. One of their best came when Canaan stole the ball and tried to finish off a fast break with a layup only to miss. Poole got the rebound and put it back up for a 30-21 lead with 3:15 left in the first in helping the Racers to a 37-28 halftime lead. Tennessee-Martin never got closer than five in the second half on consecutive buckets by Taylor, then Smith that got the Skyhawks within 41-36 with 14:13 to go. Zay Jackson hit a 3, Ivan Aska scored, then Canaan finished off a three-point play for a 49-36 lead. The Skyhawks pulled within six twice late, the last on a bucket by Corderio Maclin with 4:04 left to give the home fans hope of an upset. Donte Poole and Aska each hit a pair of free throws to push the lead back out and finish off the win.
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