MURRAY, Ky. (AP) Ed Daniel had a career-high 23 points and 14 rebounds to lift Murray State to a 76-54 win over Bethel (Tenn.) on Tuesday night.
Stacy Wilson contributed 16 points and Isaiah Canaan 15 to Murray State's (6-1) victory in which Daniel recorded his fifth-straight double-double and scored the game's first eight points.
Darnell Moore led the scoring for Bethel (11-2) with 14 points.
After getting the ball at the opening tip, Daniel scored the first eight points for the Racers. He started with a jumper 15 seconds into the game, followed by two layups - both on assists by Wilson - before completing the spurt with a dunk.
Canaan drained a 3-pointer, raising the score to 11-2 before Dexter Fields stole the ball and, with a blind pass behind his back, hit Canaan for a layup. That gave the Racers a 10-point lead five minutes into the game.
Bethel struggled offensively against their first Division I opponent of the season, shooting only 22.2 percent from the floor and 33 percent from the 3-point line in the first half.
Stephen Gillette ended a five-minute scoreless streak for the Wildcats with a jumper at 10:16, answered by a Canaan dunk on an assist by Daniel. Daniels then converted a layup and free throw to push the Racers to a 20-point advantage with 7:02 on the clock.
Murray State head coach, and Basketball Time's Coach of the Year, Steve Prohm stood with arms crossed at the sidelines as Daniel's dunk lifted the Racers to a 31-11 advantage.
A 3-pointer by Bethel's Josh Swing ended the half with the Wildcats trailing Murray State 39-18.
Coming out of the break, Murray State continued to maintain a comfortable 20-plus-point lead against its NAIA opponent who shot 33.3 percent from the field in the second half.
Brandon Garrett, who had six points and three rebounds, garnered his first points of the night for the Racers on a jumper 25 seconds into the second half.
Daniel, whose 11.3 rebound average ranks him first in the Ohio Valley Conference and seventh in the nation, dunked again before Moore's jumper brought the score to 47-22. Daniel followed that up with two free throws. He continued to shine as he sandwiched two layups around a Canaan layup to give the Racers a 29-point lead five minutes into the second half.
Stacy Wilson connected on a three to propel the Racers to a 58-28 lead before Garrett dunked on a pass by Canaan before blocking a dunk attempt by Bethel, gaining applause from Prohm.
The game ended with back-to-back 3-pointers from Bethel's Hunter Culp.