Preview: Murray State vs. Auburn




The Murray State Racers take on the Auburn Tigers Tuesday in what is the first meeting in Murray between the two and the Racers' first game at home against a Southeastern Conference team in 24 years.

The Racers are coming off their best shooting game that was preceded by their worst of the season. At Saint Louis (Dec. 12 they managed 35 percent from the field (19-of-55), but nearly matched against Marist Saturday in the first half alone when they hit 18 shots. MSU ended the 100-63 win with a season-best 62 percent (36-of-58). The Racers’ fourth-straight win at home featured 11 different players scoring with Terrell Miller going 8-of-8 from the field to get 21 points. Ja Morant has back-to-back double-doubles after scoring 16 points and dishing out 10 assists.

Auburn is off a great start at 9-1 after beating Middle Tennessee 76-70 Saturday in Birmingham. MTSU is the only common opponent the Racers and Tigers have played. Murray State hosted the Blue Raiders (Nov. 13) and lost 72-67 in a contest that was tied with 4:28 left to play.

MSU has one of the top home-court advantages in the nation. In their 20th season in the CFSB Center, the Racers are 234-42 (.847) overall and 97-15 (.864) in non-conference games. In the last 10 seasons, MSU is 62-10 (.859) in non-conference games. The Racers are 4-1 at home this season with wins over Brescia, Southern
Illinois, Florida A&M and Marist.

Auburn makes their first visit to Murray in the fifth game between the two. The last time they met was at Auburn in 2013 which was a 75-67 win for the Tigers. MSU’s only win against the Tigers was at the Charleston Classic in 2012 by a 79-59 score. The last SEC game the Racers played was at Georgia in a 63-52 defeat in 2015. One of the Racers’ SEC wins came against Vanderbilt at the NCAA Tournament in 2010 when Danero Thomas’ buzzer-beater gave MSU it’s second NCAA tournament victory 66-65 in San Jose, Calif. The Racers also played SEC
teams Alabama and Arkansas in the NCAAs in 1991 and 1992.

Auburn is a five point favorite according to the Massey Ratings. But Murray State has out-performed the computer model in all but one game this year. Auburn's Anferneee McLemore is averaging almost four blocked shots per game. The Racers will have to find a way to score inside despite his presence in order to come away with a victory.

Matt McMahon - Preparing for Auburn

Predicting Murray State's Next Five Games

Purchase Power 10 - Boys Basketball Rankings 12/18/17

Purchase Power 10 - Girls Basketball Rankings 12/18/17

Photos: CCHS vs. UHA - Hickman County