SIU-Edwardsville Cougars (4-8) at Murray State Racers (9-3)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 30, 2017, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Murray State Racers -17.5 -- Over/Under:
The SIU-Edwardsville Cougars will travel to the CFSB Center to take on the Murray State Racers this Saturday night in College Basketball action.
The SIU-Edwardsville Cougars lost their 2nd straight game and dropped to 4-8 (0-1 OVC) on the season after being defeated by the Austin Peay Governors, 78-58, this past Thursday. SIU-Edwardsville struggled on the offensive end throughout the game and couldn’t fight back after falling behind by a 42-26 margin at halftime. SIU-Edwardsville shot just 36.7% from the field and 25.0% (5-20) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Cougars was Justin Benton who had 14 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and a steal. On the season, SIU-Edwardsville is averaging 70.2 ppg on 40.9% shooting from the field. The Cougars are averaging 7.3 three-pointers per game on 33.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, SIU-Edwardsville has been led by Jalen Henry (16.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.0 bpg), Daniel Kinchen (14.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.6 apg), Christian Ellis (9.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.3 apg), and Justin Benton (7.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.8 apg). Defensively, SIU-Edwardsville is allowing their opponents to average 83.3 ppg on 47.7% shooting from beyond the arc. The Cougars have a rebound margin of -4.2 and a turnover margin of -1.5.
The Murray State Racers won their 2nd straight game and improved to 9-3 (1-0 OVC) on the season after defeating the Eastern Illinois Panthers, 80-52, this past Thursday. Murray State was outstanding defensively against the Panthers and pulled away in the 2nd half after taking a 53-34 lead with 13:37 left in regulation. Murray State shot 45.0% from the field while holding Eastern Illinois to just 28.6% shooting from the field and 23.8% (5-21) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Racers was Ja Morant who had a triple-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists, and a block. On the season, Murray State is averaging 81.8 ppg on 48.5% shooting from the field. The Racers are averaging 8.1 three-pointers per game on 36.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensviely, Murray State has been led by Jonathan Stark (16.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.5 spg), Terrell Miller Jr. (16.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.5 apg), Shaq Buchanan (12.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.7 spg), and Ja Morant (11.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 7.3 apg). Defensively, Murray State is holding their opponents to an average of 65.9 ppg on 39.1% shooting from the field. The Racers have a rebound margin of 7.8 and a turnover margin of 1.5.
The Cougars are 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 games overall and just 1-7 ATS in their last 8 road games. The Racers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games and 5-2 AT in their last 7 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
SIU-Edwardsville has a couple of nice players in Jalen Henry and Daniel Kinchen however, it’s been a struggle overall for the Cougars this season as SIU-Edwardsville ranks just T-275thi in scoring offense, 314th in FG%, and 331st in scoring defense. Murray State looks as if they are the team to beat this season in the OVC and has been outstanding overall as the Racers rank 55th in scoring offense, 57th in scoring defense, and 31st in rebound margin. Murray State defeated SIU-Edwards by double-digits at home last season and as the Racers are a far better team this year, I expect the Racers to have no trouble covering this large spread. Take Murray State to cover.