Racer Basketball: Home Sweet Home

MurraySports

 

From GoRacers.com...

One facet of the outstanding men's basketball program at Murray State University is the way the Racers are supported at home by its highly engaged fan base. The fans love watching the Racers win and the team has done plenty of that.

The Racers have a long history of holding big home court advantages, not only in their current home of the CFSB Center, but also at Racer Arena, Carr Health Building, Lovett Auditorium and Wilson Hall.

Entering the 2020-21 season, the Racers have a 1,018-240 home record in 95 seasons for a winning percentage of .809.

CFSB Center 22 seasons (1998-Present)
CFSB Center Record (273-45, .854)
Undefeated seasons: 2, 2009-10, 2019-20
First Game: Nov. 14, 1998 Won 65-62 over Southern Illinois  
Coaches: (5) Tevester Anderson (1998-03), Mick Cronin (2003-06), Billy Kennedy (2006-11), Steve Prohm (2011-15), Matt McMahon (2015-present)

The Racers carry an impressive 21-game win streak at the CFSB Center when the 2020-21 begins for Coach Matt McMahon. This current run of home winning started against Tennessee State (Jan. 26, 2019) and has continued to a win in the final home game of the season against Austin Peay (Feb. 29, 2020).

The best home streak in the CFSB Center was 25 in a row by the teams from the 2009 to 2011. The streak, under Coach Billy Kennedy, began in 2009 with a win over UT Martin (Feb. 23, 2009) and was halted in 2011 in a loss to Austin Peay (Jan. 8, 2011).

The most famous win streak of the arena came when the building was opened. Now 20-years ago, MSU's school-record 47-game home win streak was an amazing time for the program. The streak spanned the closing of Racer Arena (30 wins) and the opening of the CFSB Center (17 wins). This run began (Nov. 23, 1996) with an 84-45 win over Belmont and it ended with an 84-78 loss to Southeast Missouri (Jan. 15, 2000). 1,149 days passed from the time the streak started to the day it ended, or three years, one month and 24 days. MSU's streak was the longest in the nation when it ended.

Racer Arena 44 seasons (1954-1998)
Racer Arena Record (503-135, .788)
Undefeated seasons: 6, 1964-65, 1968-69, 1980-81, 1985-86, 1996-97, 1997-98
First Game: Dec. 11, 1955 Won 104-80 over Middle Tennessee
Last Game: March 1, 1998 Won 92-69 over Tennessee State
Coaches: (8) Harlan Hodges (1954-55), Rex Alexander (1955-58), Cal Luther (1958-75), Fred Overton (1975-78), Ron Greene (1978-85), Steve Newton (1985-91), Scott Edgar (1991-95), Mark Gottfried (1995-98)

When Racer Arena opened for business in 1954, it ushered in the NCAA Division-I era of the Murray State men's basketball program.

Because of construction was finishing up, the first two home games of Dec. 1954 were played in Carr Health Building. On the third home game of the 1954-55 season, The Racers opened Racer Arena (Dec. 9, 1954) with a 104-80 win over Middle Tennessee. Murray State hall of famer, Howie Crittenden scored 41 points, tying Bennie Purcell's single game MSU scoring record.

With Kentucky governor A.B. "Happy" Chandler among the guests, Murray State President Ralph Woods presided over the dedication of Racer Arena (Feb. 19, 1955) with the Racers defeating Eastern Kentucky 83-77.

The Racers played 44 seasons in Racer Arena and saved their best for last when they won their final 30 games there. The streak began in 1996 against Belmont (Jan. 5, 1996) and was the majority of MSU's 47-game streak that included the first 17 games starting in the Regional Special Events Center in 1998.

Coach Cal Luther's teams had the previous best home streak at Racer Arena of 27. It started in 1968 with a win over UT-Arlington and ended in 1970 with a loss to Western Kentucky (Feb. 28, 1970).

The Racers had a 19-game streak that began under Coach Ron Greene in 1985 that began with a win over Morehead State (Feb. 25, 1985) and ended in 1987 with a loss for Coach Steve Newton to Middle Tennessee (Jan. 10, 1987).

Carr Health Building 17 seasons (1937-55)
Carr Health Record (141-38, .811)
Undefeated seasons: 2, 1937-38, 1942-43
First Game: Dec. 9, 1937 Won 44-27 over Missouri All-Stars
Last Game: Dec. 4, 1955 Won 87-59 over Tennessee Tech
Coaches: (4) Carlisle Cutchin (1937-41), Rice Mountjoy (1941-42), John Miller (1942-48), Harlan Hodges (1948-55)

For 17 seasons, the court known today as "North Gym", in the Carr Health Building was the home court for the Racers. Four coaches led teams in this facility from 1937-55 and enjoyed an amazing winning percentage of 81 percent.

One reason the Racers won at a rate of better than 80 percent, was the 32-game home winning streak the Racers had under Carlisle Cutchin, Murray State's first coach. The streak began (Feb. 15, 1935) with a win over Middle Tennessee and it lasted until a loss to Transylvania (Jan. 6, 1939).

The first 12 seasons in Carr were played before the OVC was formed.

Lovett Auditorium 10 seasons (1927-37)
Lovett Auditorium Record: (84-15, .849)
Undefeated seasons: 4, 1929-30, 1931-32, 1935-36, 1936-37
First Game: Jan. 14, 1928 Won 47-23 over Albrittons Independent
Last Game: Feb. 12, 1937 Won 46-28 over Mexico City YMCA
Coaches: (1) Carlisle Cutchin (1927-37) 

From the start of the program, the guiding light of Racer Basketball was Coach Carlisle Cutchin. It would be an interesting thing to see exactly how the university set up a basketball court in Lovett Auditorium. MSU played basketball in Lovett for 10 seasons from 1927-27 and won 84 out of 99 games for a winning rate of 85 percent.

MSU's longest winning streak in Lovett Auditorium was 12. It started (Feb. 7, 1933) with a win over Middle Tennessee and ended (Feb. 12, 1935) against Western Kentucky.

Wilson Hall 2 seasons (1925-27)
Wilson Hall Record: (15-7, .673)
Undefeated seasons: None
First Game: Jan. 17, 1925 Lost 31-14 to Will-Mayfield
Last Game: Feb. 5, 1927 Won 43-32 over Bethel (TN)
Coaches: (1) Carlisle Cutchin (1925-27)

While the original Murray State campus was still taking shape, the first basketball games were played in Wilson Hall. Today the building is used for classes and offices and the student newspaper, the MSU News. However, for the first two seasons of MSU hoops, Wilson Hall was MSU's home court from 1925-27. MSU was 15-7.

The first home game for MSU Basketball was a 31-14 loss to Will Mayfield (Jan. 23 1925). The final game was a win over Bethel (Feb. 5, 1927).

Where Did We Get the Name Racers?

Flashback - Photos: Murray State Wins CIT Championship

Flashback: Alaina Lee and Shaleea Petty

Flashback: Racer Legend Jeff Martin

Flashback: NCAA Photos 2012