Give Isaiah Canaan the key to the city of Anchorage. He owns this town after his display in the 2011 Great Alaska 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. The Biloxi, Mississippi native also hit all of his eight attempts from the free throw line.
Named the 2011 Most Outstanding Player of the Shootout, Canaan averaged 25.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists during the tournament.
The nine-point win would actually be the biggest margin of victory for the racers in the tournament. They narrowly escaped UAA in the first round with a 64-62 win while edging out San Francisco in the semifinals with a 70-67 decision.
Helping out as well for the Racers was reserve guard Stacey Wilson. The junior hailing from Mullings, South Carolina had 13 points off the bench that would prove crucial, especially when starting senior guard Donte Poole fouled out before the end of regulation.
Contributions also came from 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 phenomenal 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 three-pointer from junior guard LaShay Page. With under 1:30 to play in the extra session, 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.
Canaan and Wilson combined for 18 of the MSU points in the overtimes.
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.