Murray State University men's basketball fans were apparently still hung over from their Thanksgiving feasts Saturday night when the Racers played St. Catharine.
Either that or the noisy ones went on vacation.
The 0-9 Patriots were supposed to be a tune up on the way to the Racers' Ohio Valley Conference opener Death Valley trip, a three-day swing to play at Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State this coming weekend. It was supposed to be the kind of game where the end of the bench could achieve career highs.
The Racers struggled to pull away in the first half, leading just 39-35. When the first-year NAIA program (last year a junior college), took the lead, Racer fans had nothing to say. A steal or a basket were met with light-hearted golf claps. Hearty yells didn't come to the game until eight minutes into the second quarter, and hearty could be an understatement and certainly short lived.
Against Western Kentucky, a rout against an admitted arch rival, fans were rabid. But playing a team, at home, where a loss would mean certain embarrassment and a big L, Racer fans had little to say. Even coach Billy Kennedy, who is never very animated, sat quiet until about 10 minutes left.
While the Racers' performance wasn't exactly noteworthy, the game, a 76-66 win, was the last home game for the Racers until January. The Racers have a hard enough road schedule this season without making home a neutral court.
The no-win former JUCO just scored the most points in the Regional Special Events Center. That's certainly not something to cheer about.