by Patrick Codo
The Saluki basketball team hosted their regional rival the Murray State Racers and pulled it off in overtime. The Racers started off the game on a 19-10 run after hitting four threes before Southern ended the half on a 29-18 run to lead the Racers 39-37 at the half. In the second half no lead was safe. When the Saluki’s had a decent lead the Racers marched right back. The Saluki’s lead the racers 66-60 with 5:03 in the game until Murray State went on a 9-2 run to tie the game up at 69. Then Armon Fletcher got an offensive rebound, put the shot in and got fouled so that free made it 72-69. Saluki’s lead 77-74 with five seconds left before Bryce Jones hit’s the game tying 3 to send the game into overtime.
In the overtime period, Southern lead the whole time but Murray State tied it up once again at 85 with over a minute left in the game. With Seventeen seconds left in the game Southern was able to drain the clock before Sean O’Brien tipped the ball in with eighth tenths of a second left in the game. The Saluki’s came out with the win 89-85. Sean O’Brien was there at the right place at the right time as he stated, “I had to wait for a second to make sure the ball cleared the cylinder.” It was a good move by O’Brien so he would not get called for goaltending. Barry also mentioned that Evansville came to mind when the Racers tied the game. “That’s the first thing that came into my mind, D.J. Balentine hitting the 3 and we didn’t foul, this year we did foul and didn’t get the foul call, and our heads were down and we had to have a big play, I thought we had a huge play, Leo Vincent hits the 3, and I just thought that was huge”. So Southern played the way they wanted to before the end of regulation.
The Racers were 27-70 on field goal attempts overall as Johnathan Stark lead the scoring with 29 points but only 1 rebound. A lot of the Racers point came from the free throw line as the Racers were able to shoot 78.3% from the free throw line. Although shooting 38% overall in field goals that shows how the loss occurred for the Racers.
The Saluki’s were 31 for 61 overall on field goals but 6 for 24 on 3 pointers. Although almost all the starters hit double digits. Mike Rodriguez had 21 points, Sean O’Brien had 15 and 2 of those was the game winner. Leo Vincent had 17 and Armon Fletcher had 16.
The Saluki’s are now 4-3 on the year and will host the Texas Southern Tigers who look like a good road as all their wins came on the road. The Tigers are 4-2 on the year.
The Racers are now 3-4 on the year and will host the Detroit Titans on Saturday at 7 O’clock.
by Patrick Codo