Canaan leads Murray State past Old Dominion 79-72


MURRAY, Ky. (AP) -- It wasn't pretty, but Murray State pulled out another win.

Isaiah Canaan had 30 points, three assists and two steals to lead Murray State to a 79-72 victory over Old Dominion on Saturday night.

Ed Daniel added 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for the Racers.

"We just didn't play with a hunger tonight," Murray State coach Steve Prohm said. "Anytime you can get a win, especially against an opponent like Old Dominion, we'll take it.

"It wasn't the prettiest of games by any stretch. We've got to get better on the defensive end. I know this team can score but we've got to sell out and continue to get better in transition."

Murray State (4-1) built a 12-point lead 11 minutes into the first half, but the game went down to the wire with the lead changing hands nine times, the last time with 2:49 on the clock when Canaan drained a 3.

"I told the guys at the beginning of the game, when we were up either seven or 10, you can either (lead by) five or six the whole night or we can start really guarding and extend the lead," Prohm said. "I knew it was going to be (so close); I could sense it all night. You could feel it in the arena tonight, if that's possible."

Murray State was coming off a six-day break after an 81-74 loss to Colorado in the championship game of the Charleston Classic six days earlier.

Despite Daniel's performance, the Racers were outrebounded 41-30 in a game where Murray State shot 49.1 percent from the field (28 of 57) and 42.3 percent at the line (11 of 26).

"Coach told us in practice every day since we've been home they go to the glass hard, so I already knew what to expect during the game," Daniel said. "My main objective was to hit the glass as hard as they (did). I'm going hard every day trying to get my team better. I know I have to step up this year so I have to do that like every game."

Old Dominion (1-5) outscored the Racers from the bench 38-5 in its fourth consecutive loss, shooting 44.6 percent from the floor (29 of 65) and hitting just 7 of 23 3-pointers.

Donte Hill's 16 points led the Monarchs, who were picked to finish fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association after finishing fourth last season.

The teams met for the first time since the 1990-91 Puerto Rico Shootout when the Racers topped the Monarchs 76-61.

Nine minutes into the game, the Racers pulled ahead of the Monarchs by 10 points when Canaan knocked down a 3-pointer.

"Isaiah is terrific, he plays the game the right way," Prohm said. "If there is such a thing as a quiet 30 (points), he made the quiet 30. He made the big shots when he had to, but for us to be great it can't just be Isaiah and Ed. It has to be Isaiah and Ed, Brandon (Garrett), Stacy (Wilson), CJ (Ford), Dexter (Fields). It needs to be all eight or nine of them guys."

With 3:03 left on the clock in the first half, Fields stole the ball and kept it from going out of bounds before it was passed to Canaan, who made a 3-pointer to put the Racers up five.

Deion Clark, who had a career-high 12 points, made a layup to answer before the Racers' Terron Gilmore went to the line and made both free throws, taking Murray State to a 38-33 lead.

Garrett, who had 13 points and four rebounds for Murray State, dunked with 40 seconds left in the first half to take the Racers into the break leading 40-35.

Garrett scored the first points of the second half with a layup before Old Dominion went on a 6-0 run, ended by Fields draining a 3-pointer. DeShawn Painter answered to make it a one-point game, 47-46.

Daniel made a jumper to tie it at 50 with 14:17 remaining. The score remained unchanged for the next 90 seconds until Hill pulled the Monarchs ahead on a three-point play.

About 6 minutes later, Canaan hit a 3 to tie the game at 65. Hill responded with a layup to give the Monarchs the lead before Fields downed a 3 to regain a one-point advantage for the Racers.

"Glad to pull out a win," Canaan said. "It wasn't pretty but you can't take nothing away from winning. You've got to give Old Dominion credit. They didn't give up; you can't take no opponent lightly."

The teams stayed neck-and-neck in the second half before the Racers pulled ahead in the last three minutes and never looked back.