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Racers close out regular season with win over Tennessee Tech

Feb 26, 2012 - 5:36 AM Cookeville, TN (Sports Network) - Isaiah Canaan scored 18 points on Saturday, leading No. 14 Murray State to a 69-64 win over Tennessee Tech.

The Racers (28-1, 15-1 OVC), who had already clinched the outright conference title for the third straight year, closed the regular season with five straight wins since their only loss to Tennessee State on February 9. They became the only team in program history to finish the season without a road loss (13-0).

Kevin Murphy paced the Golden Eagles (18-12, 9-7) with 26 points while Jud Dillard added 12 points and nine rebounds. Despite the loss, Tennessee Tech finished the season with the conference's No. 4 seed and earned a first-round bye in the upcoming OVC Tournament.

Tennessee Tech was up 34-30 at the break and opened the second half with a 7-1 burst. Bassey Inameti and Dillard made jumpers during the run and Murphy hit a three-pointer, as the Golden Eagles took a 41-31 lead.

The Racers were down 48-42 when they scored 11 straight to go ahead. Donte Poole started the surge with a pair of free throws and Zay Jackson buried a jumper for a 53-48 advantage near the midway point.

The teams continued to trade runs down the stretch.

Tennessee Tech was up 60-59 with just over five minutes to play when Murray State reeled off six straight behind two free throws from Canaan and four from Jackson.

The Golden Eagles responded with four in a row, as Terrell Barnes scored on a tip-in and Dillard followed with a slam to make it 65-64 with a minute to go.

On the other end, Jewuan Long grabbed a rebound off a Poole miss and hit a jumper for a 67-64 Racers lead. Zach Bailey then grabbed an offensive rebound off of Murphy's miss, but he turned the ball over and Ed Daniel and Latreze Mushatt both made 1-of-2 free throws to seal the win.

Game Notes

The Racers outscored the Golden Eagles 18-4 at the free throw line...Murray State took both meetings between the teams this season, also winning on January 14, 82-74...The Racers became the fourth team in program history to finish with only one OVC loss, joining the 1987-88, 1993-94 and 2009-10 squads.