After loss, No. 9 Murray St. must regroup quickly
Murray State coach Steve Prohm wishes he could take back one
thing he said following the ninth-ranked Racers’ first loss of the
”We’re having an amazing run is what I would’ve loved to have
said instead of `we had,”’ Prohm told The Associated Press on
Friday. ”We’re 23-1. We’re in first place in our conference. We’re
ranked in the top 10 in the country in two different polls.
”We’re in the top 50 in RPI. We’re having an amazing run, and
we’ve got a lot more basketball to play.”
Prohm said his challenge following Thursday night’s 72-68 loss
to Tennessee State is to lift up his disappointed team quickly. The
Racers play Austin Peay (9-17, 6-6 Ohio Valley Conference) on
”The games come quick, so you’ve got to learn from it, get
better and be ready to play because you don’t want to bring one
loss to make two,” Prohm said. ”You want to get back on the
winning track as soon as possible.”
Murray State guard Jewuan Long said he felt Racers ”let a lot
of people down in life” after losing for the first time this
”We enjoyed being undefeated, we enjoyed going into every game
trying to get an extra win. We enjoyed the run,” Long said. ”If
anything, it’s just going to make us more hungry, more focused, and
we’ll be ready to go by Saturday and every other game.
”We don’t want to have this feeling again, so we want to do
whatever it takes to not have this feeling.”
Murray State can’t afford to have that feeling again, at least
not too many times.
The Racers need one more conference victory to clinch at least a
tie for first place. The OVC’s top two teams get automatic byes
into the conference tournament semifinals.
While Murray state has three wins over opponents in the RPI’s
top 100, the school’s own RPI continues to fall due to a lack of
quality opponents coming up.
The Ohio Valley Conference hasn’t sent two teams to the
tournament since 1987 even though the conference representative has
won its first game in each of the last three seasons, including
Murray State’s victory over Vanderbilt in 2010.
Racers forward Ivan Aska isn’t too concerned.
”In a way, (I’m) glad we lost ahead of time than way in the
tournament or somewhere,” he said.
After playing the Governors, Murray State (23-1, 11-1) travels
to Southeast Missouri State on Wednesday before hosting No. 16 St.
Mary’s on Saturday in the marquee BracketBuster game on national
They’ll continue to rely on point guard Isaiah Canaan, who
scored 31 points against Tennessee State. The Racers built a
13-point second-half lead against the Tigers before it crumbled
with poor play down the stretch and several mistakes in the final
Prohm said he’s disappointed they couldn’t close out the Tigers
with a big lead, but that he expects his team to be ready to go
beginning with a late afternoon practice Friday before facing the
Governors Saturday night.
””It’s an important game, because the undefeated streak is
great, but our first goal is to win a conference championship. It
was never to go undefeated,” Prohm said. ”You just hate the fairy
tale to end because of what it was doing to this community, the
exposure for this university with just so many flocking to the
great little town of Murray.
”It was awesome.”