Men’s basketball dominates in home opener


Junior forward DJ Burns scored a Murray State career high 20 points in the Racers win over Lindsey Wilson. Photo courtesy of Racer Athletics.

Jakob Milani, Sports Editor

Men’s basketball returned to the CFSB Center on Saturday, Nov. 12, when Murray State hosted the Lindsey Wilson College Blue Raiders for the first home game of the regular season.

A 20-point performance from junior forward DJ Burns propelled the Racers to a 90-53 win, with junior guard Rob Perry following close behind with 18 points.

The 20 points was the most Burns has scored in a game while at Murray State. Burns said after the game, “It was just my night.”

“All I can do every night is do what I can do and control what I’m able to,” Burns said. “Just trust that my teammates and the coaches will put us in the best position to win. If that’s me scoring, rebounding, whatever.”

The Racers got out to a quick 9-2 lead with baskets coming in from Perry, Burns and sophomore guard JaCobi Wood with a 3-pointer from sophomore forward Kenny White Jr.

Senior guard Payton Cundiff answered with a 3-pointer for the Blue Raiders, but the Racers came right back with a 9-0 run that included two 3-pointers from freshman guard Justin Morgan.

Morgan spoke after the game about the feeling he got when he made his first 3-pointer. He said it was something he’s never had the chance to feel before.

“It felt amazing,” Morgan said. “In high school, I didn’t have a home gym, so to go out there and hit that 3 and get the crowd going—it was awesome.”

Senior guard Jamyus Jackson and junior guard Jackson Harlan each hit a 3-pointer for the Blue Raiders, but a 3 from Perry shortened the Racers’ lead to 9 points.

The Racers’ lead extended to 14 points with a layup from White Jr. and yet another 3-pointer from Perry.

The Blue Raiders continued to hang around until Wood made a pair of 3s to put the Racers up 18. To end the half, senior guard Quincy Anderson made two free throws, and Wood made another free throw to have the Racers up 46-27 at halftime.

Despite a 3 from Jones, the Blue Raiders continued to fall behind as Burns and Perry scored the Racers’ first 11 points of the second half, extending the lead to 25 points.

More points from Wood, Burns and Anderson put the Racers on a 13-0 run. A 3 from Cundiff ended the run, but the Racers were still up 68-35.

The rest of the second half was back and forth, but the Racers’ lead continued to grow, reaching 41 points with a layup from freshman guard Braxton Stacker.

The final buzzer hit, and it was official: the Racers had defeated the Blue Raiders 90-53 in their first home matchup of the season.

Cundiff was the lone double-digit scorer for the Blue Raiders with 10 points, shooting 3-6 from the field and 2-5 from 3-point range.

While Burns and Perry led the way in points, Wood and Anderson followed with 13 points and 10 points, respectively. Wood led the team in assists with five while Burns led the team in rebounds with nine. Anderson had a team high five steals.

Being one of the only returners from last season, Burns took on a leadership role for the Racers this year. He said he’s thankful the new people on the team have made it easy for him to take on the role.

“Coach Prohm was able to help get [me] to the physical and mental standard I needed,” Burns said. “Having conversations with him helped me learn what I needed to do. One of the key things Coach told the guys is that ‘DJ isn’t gonna be perfect, but he’s gonna try his best, and he loves Murray State.’”

The Racers as a team assisted on 20 of their 34 made shots. Prohm spoke after the game about the team’s efficiency and how well they move the ball.

“This is the level we wanna get to and how we want to play,” Prohm said. “If we can do that, that’s a good thing. That’s over 50% of shots assisted on. If we’re in that range, we’re sharing the ball well.”

Murray State improves to 1-1 on the season. The Racers travel to Conway, South Carolina, to play in the Myrtle Beach Invitational as part of their next matchups.

The Racers’ first game will see them take on the Aggies of Texas A&M University. That game will be at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17.


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