The Murray State Racers opened their 98th season of college basketball with a 91-68 loss against the Saint Louis Billikens at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Racers get back on the floor Saturday for their home opener with Lindsey Wilson paying a visit to the CFSB Center on MSU Hall of Fame Day and a 7 p.m. tip.
Playing in their first game at Murray State, the trio of Jamari Smith, Rob Perry and Kenny White, Jr., led the Racers in scoring. Smith hit 6-of-11 from the field for 19 points and five rebounds, while Perry scored 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting. White hit 4-of-9 from the field for 10 points. JaCobi Wood led the Racers with eight rebounds.
Trailing by as many as 18 points with 15:30 left, the Racers made a 6-0 run as Smith cut the SLU lead down to 59-48 with 12:05 remaining. The deficit was still 11 points the 9:43 mark when Brian Moore, Jr. made a drive to the basket. SLU hit back-to-back threes to complete an 8-0 run for a 74-55 lead with 8:44 and the Racers never recovered.
In the first half, the Racers had a hot start and a 9-2 lead on buckets by Quincy Anderson, Perry and White. At the 13:08 mark, Anderson beat the shot clock and the Racers were in front 13-12. The Billikens hit the Racers with a 10-1 run to go in front 35-22 at the 3:19 mark, but the Racers cut the deficit to eight at 1:56 when Smith hit just the second 3-pointer in MSU’s first 13 tries. Saint Louis held a 44-29 lead at the intermission.
- The Racers have had some outstanding debuts of late when a freshman plays in his first game, or maybe a transfer.
- Several Racers debuted at SLU including Jamari Smith’s 19 points. His night at SLU was among the best debuts for the Racers in recent memory, especially considering it came against a strong opponent like the Billikens.
- In 2016, Terrell Miller scored 23 points against Illinois State, while Jonathan Stark scored 19 points in 2016 also against the Redbirds. In 2013 at Valparaiso, Cameron Payne scored 21 points against the Beacons and in 2000 against Gardner-Webb, Antoine Whelchel hit 12-of-14 from the field for 27 points to with 12 rebounds in 2000 against Gardner-Webb..
- The Racers’ game Saturday against LWU is a special day as the 2022 class to the Murray State Hall of Fame is honored.
- Racer men’s basketball alumni Paul King is part of the 2022 class.
- King played for the Racers from 1987-91 and was the first Racer to win four-straight conference championships.
- King’s No. 30 jersey number was retired in 1991.
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