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Eastern Illinois Panthers vs. Murray State Racers Pick-Odds-Prediction - 1/16/14

Murray State Racers (9-7) at Eastern Illinois Panthers (5-11)

College Basketball: Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Lantz Arena)

The Line: Eastern Illinois Panthers +3.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN3.com

The Murray State Racers head to Lantz Arena to face the Eastern Illinois Panthers.

Murray State has a long way to go to become the national power they were a few years ago with so many new faces in the lineup. The Racers are still one of the top teams in the OVC West as they look to be in a groove with four consecutive victories. The Racers had no problem in an 89-67 rout of Austin Peay behind 47% from the field and a 21-7 advantage at the stripe. Cameron Payne and Jarvis Williams scored 15 and 14 points and grabbed five boards each while Tyler Rambo added 13 followed by Dexter Fields and TJ Sapp with eleven points each.

Eastern Illinois Panthers vs. Murray State Racers Pick-Odds-Prediction - 1/16/14

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Eastern Illinois is in struggle mode and need big improvements at both ends of the floor to turn things around which is easy for me to say. The Panthers didn't get much help offensively but the defense came up big in a 56-48 decision over Jacksonville State. EIU did sink half their looks and held the Gamecocks to a mere 33% in their best defensive performance of the season. Chris Olivier was the big scoring weapon with 15 points on 6-8 from the floor with Reggie Smith netting nine points followed by Sherman Blanford, Dylan Chatman and Luke Piotrowski with a combined 22 points.

I know Murray State is a notch or two below where they were a few years ago but I think they have enough firepower to get the job done here...

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