Murray State beat San Francisco 92-87 in overtime

INDIANAPOLIS – Games like this require veteran leadership, which KJ Williams and others have delivered to Murray State.

Williams scored six of his 18 points in overtime after Murray State took an eight-point lead at the end of regulation, and the Racers, seventh seed, extended their winning streak to 21 games with a 92-87 victory over San Francisco in the first round of the championship. NCAA Tournament Thursday night.

“That game defined our team,” Murray State coach Matt McMahon said. “That’s them. They find ways to win. Their toughness and willingness to win is incredibly special. I’m proud of them for their fight. We struggled with some issues. It hit some cramps. Different guys came up.”

The Racers (31-2) tied the state of South Dakota with the longest winning streak in the country this season. With SDSU losing to Providence on Thursday, Murray State can advance to Saturday’s Eastern Region second-round game against Saint Peter’s. The Peacocks, No. 15, defeated Kentucky 85-79 in OT.


The night game in Indianapolis was just as tight, with 18 lead changes and 14 draws in a contest that ended Friday morning. Murray State finally took control with Williams ’clutch baskets and Jordan Skipper-Brown’s timely plays in the extra session.

Skipper-Brown in particular received praise from McMahon and Williams.

“Skip has come a long way with his performance tonight, and it shows he’s been working on and off the track,” Williams said. “He just showed that great character tonight and he came out and played tremendously.”

McMahon added: “Skipper-Brown, when we need it most, offers a double-double.”

Jamaree Bouyea scored 36 points for the USF (24-10), making her first NCAA appearance since 1998. The graduate escort made just 4 of 12 from long range, but was 13 of 26 overall, with each mark changing the impulse.

“Trying to leave everything out there, no regrets,” Bouyea said. “We needed buckets and stops and I was trying to get the ball in the basket.”


Zane Meeks added 13 points and Patrick Tape 10 with three blocks for USF before committing a foul.

Williams made a tray with 1:15 to the end before Skipper-Brown’s tray made it 89-85 with 30 seconds left. Zane Meeks did attempt a finish, but from an awkward position, sending the ball into the away fans. Skipper-Brown made two free throws with 13.7 seconds left before adding another with 1.7 seconds left to seal the victory.

The Racers led 73-65 with 1:58 remaining in regulation, but Khalil Shabazz made a triple and Bouyea followed with five points in a row.

Trae Hannibal also had 18 points for Murray State before committing fouls at the end of regulation. Brown added 17, Justice Hill scored 15 and Skipper-Brown had 12 points and 10 rebounds, all of which the Racers needed to take their last win.


The long end of the game Saint Peter’s-Kentucky delayed the start of the game until after 22:00, which is more like the time zone to which the Dons are accustomed. The San Francisco players lined up in the tunnel for the final minute of overtime and were quietly aiming for Saint Peter’s before warming up and playing their own marathon contest.



San Francisco had the paint 40-36 but was outscored by 43-35, and that made all the difference. The Dons also shot just 9 of 35 from a distance.

“We let it fly,” coach Todd Golden said. “I thought we looked really, really good, especially in the second half. That didn’t just fall. It allowed them to get a bit of an advantage late.

“Luckily we were able to come back, but man, I think we’ll see the tape and we’ll be a little disappointed because we didn’t throw the ball better.”

Murray State got the balance he wanted and needed to survive the Dons. Skipper-Brown led a bench effort that outscored USF 36-23.


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Murray State beat San Francisco 92-87 in overtime

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