After falling out of the poll two weeks ago, Murray State is making an effort to re-join the Mid-Major Top 25. The Racers have won four straight and Saturday’s win over then No. 13 ranked Evansville helped Cameron Payne earn Lou Henson award National Player of the Week honors. Payne had a career-high 32 points and added five rebounds and eight assists for the Racers. If you haven’t already seen it, be sure to check out the movie trailer, The House of Payne.
My 5 – Week 5
Julius Brown (Toledo): Since falling to Oakland, the Rockets have run off three straight wins and their senior point guard has led the way. Juice was Toledo’s leading scorer in its’ lone game last week. The 5-foot-10 Brown had 15 points, which included two clutch three-pointers in the final two minutes of the game. Brown also finished with four rebounds and five assists. Named to the Lou Henson Award preseason Watch List, Brown has proven to be a clutch performer for Tod Kowalczyk.
Aaron Bright (Saint Mary's): The 5-foot-11 senior scored 19 of his 22 points after halftime to help the Gaels beat Creighton ending the Bluejays' 24-game home winning streak. His jumper, with one minute left in overtime, gave Saint Mary’s the lead for good. The 22 points were the most for Bright since the final regular season game in 2013 when he was playing for Stanford. The transfer has been a nice addition to Randy Bennett’s team.
Kyle Hittle (Incarnate Word): What a wild finish last week in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Cardinals stunned the Cornhuskers with a 74-73 win and Hittle was right in the middle of it. The 6-foot-4 junior had 18 points, including the game-winner with 2.7 seconds left. The contested baseline jumper put Incarnate Word on the map. Last season was a transition year for Ken Burmeister’s team, which won 21 games. This season the Cardinals play a full Southland Conference schedule and they have easily their biggest win since moving to division I. Big time shot by Kyle Hittle.
Venky Jois (Eastern Washington): His three-pointer with 2:56 remaining gave the Eagles the lead for good, as they went on to beat San Francisco. The 6-foot-8 junior finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for EWU, which is off to one of the best starts in school history. One week earlier Jois had back-to-back 38 point efforts in wins over Seattle and Eastern Oregon and is averaging just over 20 points a game this season. The 8-1 start was the best in 38 years.
Tevon Saddler (UNC Greensboro): The Spartans picked up their first win at ETSU since February 19, 2000 and Saddler was a big reason for the victory. The 6-foot-4 sophomore was 9-for-12 from the field on his way to 24 points. He also added five rebounds and six assists on the night. It was the third time in his short career he tallied 24 points and the second time in as many games. Saddler’s career best came in the second game of his career when he dropped 34 on East Carolina at the beginning of last season. He can play.