Saturday, November 29, 2014

Murray State Comes Up Short on First Day of Challenge in Music City

Game 1: Valparaiso 66 Drake 46

 Valparaiso came out firing in the second half and rolled to an easy 66-46 win over Drake (1-4)

Darien Walker scored 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting to lead Valpo (5-1). Keith Carter chipped in 15 points. Alec Peters added 10 points and pulled down 6 rebounds.

The Crusaders led 29-21 at the half but opened the second half with a 12-2 run and never looked back.

Jordan Daniels came off the bench to lead Drake with 18 points. Gary Reynolds, Jr. finished with 8 points.

Valparaiso returns to action Saturday night against Murray State while Drake will entertain Portland.

Game 2: Portland Murray State

Recap by MSU:
The Murray State Racers suffered a hard-fought 64-61 defeat to the Portland Pilots Friday at the Challenge In Music City played at Nashville's Municipal Auditorium.  

The Racers (2-3) trailed the Pilots (4-0) 54-47 with 5:50 left, but the Racers made a run and tied it at 60-60 with 1:50 left on a T.J. Sapp jumper. The Racers got a stop, but Cameron Payne's 3-point try for the lead rimmed out with 55 seconds to go. Payne went to the line with 14 seconds left with a chance to tie it, but made one of two free throws. UP's Kevin Bailey made a pair of free throws with 1.1 seconds left and the Racers couldn't get a shot off before the buzzer.

Payne had 18 points for MSU, with Sapp tossing in 13 and Jeffery Moss added 11 points to give the Racers three in double-figure scoring. Jarvis Williams had seven rebounds as the Racers battled the Pilots who had a tall front line. MSU held their own on the boards trailing only 33-29 at game's end.

The first half saw the Racers grab an 11-5 lead on a 3-point basket from corner by Payne. MSU pushed ahead 27-20 at the 5:13 mark when Tyler Rambo scored twice and Williams had two assists on kick-out threes by Justin Seymour and T.J. Sapp. But the Pilots ended the half on a 10-3 run to lead 30-29 at the half.

The Racers put themselves in a spot for a win even with a night when they struggled to make shots. MSU ended the game 42 percent from the field on 23-of-54 shots, including a 7-of-25 night from 3-point range for 28 percent.

In game one of the first day of the Challenge In Music City went to Valparaiso who scored a 66-46 win over Drake. Tevonn Walker led Valpo with 21 points while Drake was led by Jordan Daniel who had 18 points.

The Racers meet Valpo Saturday in game two at 7:30 p.m. after Drake plays Portland at 5 p.m.

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