Player of the Night: Isaiah Canaan
Trailing at the half and down 11 points with 17 minutes to go, Murray State’s undefeated season was in serious jeopardy. That’s when Canaan took over, scoring 24 points in the final 16:30. During that same stretch, Southeast Missouri State scored just 27 points. Canaan finished with 32 points as the Racers won, 81-73. It was Murray State’s fourth win after trailing at halftime.
Scoring Star Part I: Lamont Jones
Iona cruised to a 105-86 win over Canisius behind a career-high 43 points from Jones. The Arizona transfer went 16-for-23 from the field, including 7-for-12 from 3-point range. His 43 points set a Hynes Center record that had held up since 1984. It’s also tied for the second-highest scoring game in school history, and the most points since Sean Green’s 43 in 1991.
Scoring Star Part II: Damian Lillard
The nation’s leading scorer had one of his best games of the season, scoring 40 points in a 92-79 win over Portland State. The win moved Weber State to 9-1 in the Big Sky Conference. It was Lillard’s second 40-point performance of the season, the only player who can make that claim. Last season, only Jimmer Fredette (four) and Marshon Brooks (two) had multiple 40-point games. Lillard is on track to be the first player to average 25 points, five rebounds and three assists per game since Lester Hudson in 2008-09.
Murphy (33) and Dillard (29) combined for 62 points in Tennessee Tech’s 94-88 win over Austin Peay. Both players are averaging more than 18 points per game. The only other team with multiple players averaging 18 points per game is Central Connecticut, which actually has three. Murphy and Dillard average a combined 39.8 points per game, which makes them the second-highest scoring duo in the nation behind Weber State’s Lillard and Scott Bamforth (40.7).
Strange Line of the Night: Chris Cooper
In Old Dominion’s 80-71 win over James Madison, Cooper grabbed 22 rebounds – matching the second-most rebounds in a game this season. The last ODU player with more rebounds in a game was Clifton Jones in 2001. Now for the strange part. Cooper went 1-for-7 from the field. The last time a player grabbed 20 rebounds and shot less than 15 percent? Marshall’s Tyler Wilkerson in 2009.