ESTERO, Fla. -- An 11-point lead had disappeared, but Tevin Brown remained calm.

The Murray State redshirt sophomore guard continued his strong start to the season on Tuesday, hitting a layup with 50 seconds to go, grabbing a defensive rebound off of a Jerrick Harding miss, and then nailing two game-winning free throws in a 69-68 victory over Weber State in the consolation round of the 2019 Gulf Coast Showcase at Hertz Arena.

It capped a 19-point, six-rebound, four-assist performance that also included 3-for-5 shooting from behind the arc. Fourteen of his points came in the second half.

The big performance, however, came from MSU sophomore forward KJ Williams, who quickly turned the page on a 5-point, 5-rebound performance against La Salle on Monday with a career-high 23 points on 11-for-15 shooting with five rebounds, two assists, one 3-pointer and just one turnover in 31 minutes.

MSU (4-2) shot 60.9% from the floor and 7-for-13 from the arc, but committed 19 turnovers -- which the Wildcats (1-4) turned into 20 points.

Furthermore, the Wildcats were a scorching 11-for-22 from behind the arc, with Harding (the Big Sky preseason MVP), Cody John (20 points), Michal Kozak and Kham Davis all drilling at least two.

The Racers held a 51-40 lead with 13:10 left in regulation, but Harding's layup and free throw with 1:32 left gave Weber State its first lead, 68-65, since the start of the first half.

With the win, Murray State plays the Missouri Valley's Drake Bulldogs at 12:30 p.m. CT today for a shot at fifth place.

Drake (5-2) topped Northeastern, 59-56, behind 17 points from Anthony Murphy, nine rebounds from guard Garrett Sturtz and four assists from forward Tremell Murphy.

Carter starts

Fifth-year MSU coach Matt McMahon opted to start freshman point guard in Chico Carter Jr., who put up 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting with two 3-pointers and three assists. He also had five turnovers.

His other freshman point guard, DaQuan Smith, finished 0-for-1 with one rebound in 10 minutes.

Cowart dinged

MSU senior center Darnell Cowart played only 10 minutes off of the bench Tuesday, after coming down awkwardly late in the first half. He'd return to the game and make two free throws, start the second half, and then return to the bench.

Murray St. 69, Weber St. 68

MURRAY ST. (4-2) -- A.Smith 0-3 0-0 0, Williams 11-15 0-0 23, Eaves 4-6 1-2 10, Brown 7-10 2-3 19, Carter 4-5 0-0 10, Gilmore 2-3 1-1 5, Cowart 0-2 2-2 2, D.Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Holliday 0-1 0-1 0. Totals 28-46 6-9 69.

WEBER ST. (1-4) -- Kozak 3-9 0-0 8, Zdor 0-0 3-4 3, John 8-13 1-1 20, Harding 6-16 4-5 18, Davis 3-4 0-0 8, Fuller 2-3 0-0 4, Galuppo 1-3 0-0 3, Jordan 1-6 1-2 4, Barnes 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-55 9-12 68.

Halftime: Murray St. 36-28. 3-Point Goals: Murray St. 7-13 (Brown 3-5, Carter 2-3, Eaves 1-1, Williams 1-3, D.Smith 0-1), Weber St. 11-22 (John 3-3, Davis 2-3, Kozak 2-4, Harding 2-6, Galuppo 1-3, Jordan 1-3). Fouled Out: None. Rebounds: Murray St. 21 (Brown 6), Weber St. 20 (Davis 7). Assists: Murray St. 13 (Brown 4), Weber St. 11 (Jordan 6). Total Fouls: Murray St. 13, Weber St. 16. A: 786 (7,186).

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