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Friday’s Shootaround: Murray State remains undefeated


Mike Miller

No. 24 Murray State 89, Lipscomb 65: Playing their first game as a ranked team in 13 years, the Racers had no problem dispatching with Lipscomb. Ed Daniel and Ivan Aska scored 16 points apiece as the racers used a 29-15 surge to close the first half and open up a 45-29 lead.

Lipscomb is not an Ohio Valley team, but they are comparable to the kind of games that the Racers are going to play the rest of the season. That’s why there was so much speculation this week into whether Murray State would be able to go undefeated this season. They are going to be a heavy favorite in every single game they play this season. They will undoubtedly play their share of poor games, but given the level of competition, they should have a shot to win even on an off-night playing on the road.

Do I think the Racers will go undefeated? No. Do I think they are capable of doing it? Yes. Do I want to see it happen, or at least get close? Heck yes.

Gonzaga 67, Oral Roberts 61: Kevin Pangos had 14 points and seven assists and Elias Harris added 12 points and 10 boards as the Zags held on down the stretch against a feisty Oral Roberts team. Gonzaga used a 17-2 run to close the first half, pushing their lead to as much as 12 in the second half. ORU was able to cut the lead to four late in the game, but couldn’t get closer than that.

Bradley 67, George Washington 66: Walt Lemon Jr. hit a three with 46 seconds left to give Bradley a three point lead. GW had a chance to tie after two Tony Taylor free throws and a forced turnover, but both Taylor and Lasan Kromah missed jumpers on the final possession. Its just another in a long line of struggles for the Colonial team, who appear to still be struggling with the transition to Mike Lonergan as a head coach.

Jackson State 59, SMU 58: Jackson State was 1-9 coming into this game. SMU is headed to the Big East next season. That should be fun.

The rest of the top 25

No. 8 Missouri 104, Kennesaw State 67: Ricardo Ratliffe and Michael Dixon both went for 18 points as the Tigers rolled through Kennesaw State despite playing through finals week.

No. 15 Wisconsin 66, Savannah State 33: Wisconsin’s stout defense remained, well, stout as they held the Tigers to just 33 points and 32.6% shooting from the field.

Other notable scores:

- Akron 87, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 64
- Northwestern 81, Texas Southern 51
- LSU 66, UC-Irvine 59
- Belmont 78, Troy 55
- Oregon State 93, Howard 72
- St. Mary’s 84, NC A&T 45

Top performers

Angus Brandt, Roberto Nelson and Ahmad Starks, Oregon State: Brandt, Nelson and Starks combined for 63 points on 22-35 shooting from the floor and 8-14 from three in a 93-62 win over Howard.

Michael Harthun, Portland State: Harthun scored 22 points on 9-11 shooting from the field as PSU knocked off CS-Bakersfield.

Andre Jones, Winthrop: Jones had 26 points on 8-13 shooting as the Eagles knocked off Jacksonville 59-45.

Rob Jones, St. Mary’s: Jones finished with just five points and six turnovers while shooting 2-8 from the floor. But he had 14 boards (eight offensive) and added four assists and two steals.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.