Murray State Colorado State

March 15, 2012 by staff 

Murray State Colorado State, Isaiah Canaan is making the most of his do-over. Two years after fumbling away Murray State’s chance at being the mid-major darlings of the NCAA tournament, Canaan scored 15 points and backcourt mate Donte Poole added 13 points to make sure they’d stick around for a while in a 58-41 victory over Colorado State on Thursday.

As a freshman, Canaan was crushed after he mishandled the ball in the closing seconds of a two-point loss to Butler in the second round.

A leader of this group now, he and the rest of the sixth-seeded Racers (31-1) shook off an 11-day wait to return to the tournament as the mid-major team expected to make a long run.

So far, so good. Poole scored Murray State’s first eight points when Murray State needed a lift. Colorado State (20-12) hung around for a half until Poole was popped in the nose by Wes Eikmeier’s inadvertent elbow and left bloodied early in the second. The Racers rallied around him in an 18-2 run that blew the game open.

Colorado State’s self-proclaimed ankle-biters started the second half by missing nine of their first 10 shots and finished shooting 33 percent for the game. By the time the offense finally got going, the 11th-seeded Rams were trailing by double digits and on their way out of their first tournament since 2003.

Pierce Hornung scored 12 points before fouling out late and matched a career-high with 17 rebounds, the most for the Rams in a tournament game since Dale Schlueter grabbed 19 in the first round in 1966.

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