MURRAY — If Saturday’s meeting was the final Western Kentucky-Murray State battle for the foreseeable future, it’ll be Racer fans left holding all the bragging rights.
Isaiah Canaan scored 16 of his game-high 19 points after halftime, as Murray State won the 148th meeting between the two schools, 69-60 at the CFSB Center in Murray.
“We had some turnovers in the first half that we didn’t need to have, we made some good runs, but we let Canaan get open too much,” WKU coach Ken McDonald said. “We battled back, but every time it seemed like we’d get in striking distance he’d hit a 3.
“We didn’t finish a lot of shots at the rim, we fouled too much, the effort was there … but they had a stretch with five offensive rebounds in four minutes and that hurt us. That’s why they finished and won the game.”
Plenty of talk before Saturday’s game centered on the fact that the Hilltoppers and Racers have yet to renew a game contract for next season and beyond – something MSU coach Billy Kennedy said was due WKU having no interest in playing it anymore.
Hilltopper coach Ken McDonald said that wasn’t true, and that a series with Murray State moving forward is still possible.
The future is unclear, but the present belongs to Murray State.
“I consider this a good character win,” Kennedy said after the game. “We didn’t play great, we got in foul trouble, but we did enough to get a win. We’re thankful to have gotten out of here with a win.”
For more, see Sunday’s Daily News.