By Taylor Hall
Give Isaiah the key to the city of Anchorage. He owns this town after his display tonight in the 2011 Shootout Championship game that lifted the Murray State Racers to a thrilling 90-81 win in double overtime over the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.
Canaan would finish with a tournament-high 36 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 45 minutes of play. The junior guard shot 11 of 22 from the field as well as 6 of 11 from beyond the arc and 8 of 8 from the free throw line. Canaan hit countless big shots throughout the game and will be remembered for one of the best individual performances in Shootout history.
Helping out as well for the Racers was reserve guard Stacey Wilson. His 13 points were crucial, especially when starting guard Donte Poole fouled out before the end of regulation. Contributions also came Poole (12 points, five boards, three assists) and senior guard Jewuan Long (10 points, seven rebounds, five assists).
For USM, Angelo Johnson was their most important player throughout the night. The senior guard put up 29 points to go along with three assists on the night. Johnson was phenonemnal down the stretch and his clutch buckets were crucial in getting the Golden Eagles back into the game.
Down by 12 points at the break, USM picked away at the MSU lead with run after run. They finally were able to tie it up and even had a look from Johnson on the last play of regulation that would clank off the iron.
The first OT would finish with both teams only scoring three points apiece. The Golden eagles took the lead midway through the extra frame of play on a Johnson three-pointer. It would be Canaan answering with a three of his own.
However, in the second overtime, it would be all MSU as they outscored USM 18-9 to claim the Shootout Championship goldpan.
Murray State finished the night shooting 50 percent on 31 of 62 shooting while USM hit at 37.3 percent, making 25 of their 67 attempts.
The battle of the boards would also tilt slightly in the Racers favor (41-36). They also hit 10 of their 21 three-point attempts as compared to USM hitting 7 of 22 on the night from long range.
2011 Shootout Awards
Most Outstanding Player:
Isaiah Canaan – Murray State
Maurice Bolden – Southern Mississippi
Rashad Green – San Francisco
Angelo Johnson – Southern Mississippi
Christian Kabongo – New Mexico State
Wendell McKines – New Mexico State
LaShay Page – Southern Mississippi
Donte Poole – Murray State
Taylor Rohde – UAA
David Rufful – Dartmouth
Trey Zeigler – Central Michigan