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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Mens basketball suffers ‘gut wrenching’ loss

Jakob Milani
Junior forward Nick Ellington shoots a layup against an Illinois St. defender.

For the second straight game, the Racerslost after having a 15-plus point second half lead as Murray State lost to Illinois State 61-59 on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

It marks the Racers’ fourth loss in a row and third home loss in a row. This time, the Racers were out-rebounded by 17 in the game, and allowed 14 free throw attempts in the second half. Both stats played a part in the Redbirds’ comeback Tuesday.

Head Coach Steve Prohm started the post-game press conference with one word to describe the feeling of the last two losses: “Gut wrenching.”

“I don’t think this was complacency,” Prohm said. “Just from watching the game, they dominated the glass and the paint over the last 10 to 12 minutes. They outrebounded us by almost 20. That was a big piece to this loss.

With this type of loss happening in back-to-back games, questions will start to fly about what may be wrong on the court. When asked about selfishness amongst the team late in games, Prohm wasn’t afraid to call out a “sticky ball.”

“The ball just sticks a lot with us,” Prohm said. “When it doesn’t we’re very good. But when that ball sticks, we’re not a great offensive team.”

Prohm was also asked about leadership on the team, to which he responded, “We have great kids and great character guys.” He also pointed out times where the players took control of a situation, like calling timeouts late in the game, or calming the rest of the team down.

Senior Quincy Anderson said after the loss to Illinois State that it’s hard to explain back-to-back comeback losses like the team has faced, but took some blame to himself.

“It just comes down to being consistent down the stretch,” Anderson said. “Making big plays, finishing at the rim. We also have to understand the situation of the game. I took a contested shot, had a couple of turnovers. I should’ve been able to get downhill… Honestly, just a breakdown of the scouting late in the game.”

Anderson added later on that the team wasn’t quick to panic, despite the closing of their lead late in the game.

“I wouldn’t say the panic button got pressed,” he said. “I truly don’t know what it is right now. But honestly, that’s the beauty of playing basketball is that we get to go back to it in a couple of days and go back to the drawing board.”

Murray State falls to 8-14 overall and 5-6 in conference play. The Racers resume conference play on Saturday, Feb. 3, as they travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to take on the Northern Iowa Panthers. Tip-off is set at 1 p.m.


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About the Contributor
Jakob Milani
Jakob Milani, Sports Editor
Jakob Milani is all about sports. He joined the staff of The Murray State News in 2020 as a sports writer, assigned to women's basketball, and by fall 2021 was named Sports Editor. He is a dedicated lover of all things Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears related, and loves to talk about all things sports. He is a co-host of "The Iron Grid" podcast with fellow sports writer Ronan Summers, and only ever watches ESPN in his down time. Aside from sports, Jakob also has a passion for music and baking. His favorite artists include Nirvana, Travis Scott, and Queen. His favorite item to bake is cheesecake.

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