The Murray State Racers rolled to their fifth-straight win and to 4-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference with an 82-68 win Saturday over the UT Martin Skyhawks at the CFSB Center in Murray, Kentucky.
The Racers improved to 12-3 overall, while UTM fell to 6-11 and 1-3 in the OVC.
Jonathan Stark scored a game-high 22 points and became the 43rd Racer to reach 1,000 career points and tied the record of getting there in just 48 games.
Stark and the Racers showed the kind of offensive firepower that had them atop the OVC in scoring when they took a 31-25 halftime lead and blitzed UTM. Stark hit back-to-back 3-point baskets to give MSU a 44-32 lead with 16:16 left to play. With their first half shooting slump over, the Racers had a 20-4 run in a span of 5:13 in which they hit 6-of-8 from the field. The run was highlighted by a 3-pointer from Byron Hawkins and a steal and dunk by Shaq Buchanan. Stark hit his fifth 3-pointer of the second half with 7:09 left for a 72-44 Racer lead.
The Racers put five in double-figure scoring including Terrell Miller, Jr., with 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while Shaq Buchanan and Ja Morant each added 10 points.
The first half was slow for each team when each team shot 35 percent. The Racers ran away with it in the second half in shooting 62 percent on 18-of-29 from the field including 8-of-14 from the 3-point line. MSU’s previous 10 wins all included them winning the rebound battle, so tonight was their first win without it. It was close, but UTM held a 34-33 lead in rebounding at the end of the game. MSU had 17 assists on 29 field goals for an excellent percentage of .586.
The Racers hit the road next week for their first OVC away games. MSU plays at Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech on Jan. 11 and 13.
The occurrence of a player joining the MSU 1000-Point Club is always a cherished moment and it certainly was for Jonathan Stark. Needing 14 points to reach the mark, Stark got his 1000th point with 16:16 remaining in the second half on a 3-point basket. He finished with 22 points and sits now at 1,008 as the 43rd member of the club and the first since Jeffery Moss made it in 2015. Stark ties the mark for getting to 1000 the fastest, in 48 games. Three other Racers did it in 48 games with Claude Virden being first in 1969. Mike Coleman did it in 1974 and De’Teri Mayes in 1998.
MSU 1000-Point Club (Recent)
11-23-03 Cuthbert Victor, H, Wagner
02-08-07 S. Witherspoon, H, Eastern Kentucky
02-12-09 Tyler Holloway, H Tenn. Tech
12-05-09 Danero Thomas, H, Morehead State
03-04-11 Isacc Miles, N, Tenn. tech
11-23-11 Ivan Aska, A, Anchorage
01-04-12 Isaiah Canaan, H, Eastern Kentucky
01-31-15 Cameron Payne, H, UT Martin
03-07-15 Jarvis Williams, N, Belmont
11-23-15 Jeffery Moss, N, Milwaukee
01-06-18 Jonathan Stark, H, UT Martin
MSU 1000-Point Club
Fastest To 1000
12-06-69 Claude Virden, 48 games, A, Canisius
02-23-74 Mike Coleman, 48 games, A, Middle Tennessee
01-15-98 De’Teri Mayes, 48 games, H, Eastern Illinois
01-06-18 Jonathan Stark, 48 games, H, UT Martin
02-26-66 Herb McPherson, 49 games, A, Western Kentucky
02-13-78 Mike Muff, 49 games, A, Eastern Kentucky
12-09-72 Les Taylor, 50 games, A, Oral Roberts
12-13-65 Stewart Johnson, 51 games, H, San Fernando
12-19-63 Jim Jennings, 53 games, H, West Texas
12-01-54 Howie Crittenden, 56 games, H, Kentucky Wesleyan
01-31-15 Cameron Payne, 57 games, H, UT Martin
The only thing what went wrong for Stark tonight is that he missed his only free throw attempt. It halted his MSU record streak of 39 that he set Thursday against SEMO when he also tied the school record of 14-of-14 in a single game.
MSU leads the all-time series with UTM 47-7 and have won the last five at home and are 27-1 all-time.
Coach Matt McMahon is 45-34 in his third season at MSU which includes a 22-14 mark in OVC play. At home, the Racers are 29-10 in the McMahon era. He is 3-3 against UTM.
Tonight’s win concluded a four-game home stand for the Racers and now they head out of town the next two weeks for games at Jacksonville State(Jan. 11), Tennessee Tech (Jan. 13), Belmont (Jan. 18) and Tennessee State (20). MSU’s next home game is with Morehead State (Jan. 25) in a 6 p.m. start on ESPNU. The game will also feature a new video scoreboard at the CFSB Center that is being installed while the Racers are away from home.
MSU’s records away from home for the next four games include: 9-1 at JSU, 46-37 at TTU, 1-2 at BEL and 22-8 at TSU.
Dave Winder – Department of Athletics – Murray State State University
Associate AD – Media Relations