Burpo reaches 1k; Young named Valley Player of The Week


Senior forward Alexis Burpo and junior forward Katelyn Young add to a historic season for the Racers in their win over SIU on Sunday. Photo by Rebeca Mertins Chiodini/The News.

Ronan Summers, Staff Writer

Redshirt senior forward Alexis Burpo, a Murray native, is just the 22nd player in the program’s history to join the 1,000 point club on Sunday, Feb. 19, against the SIU Salukis. 

Burpo’s 4 points in Sunday’s win gives her a total of 1,001 points in her career. The fifth-year senior has started 87 of the 143 games she has played in, averaging 7 points a game while shooting 47% from the field. Burpo has averaged 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

This is the second time in Burpo’s basketball career she has joined a 1,000 point club. She also scored over 1,000 points in her high school career. Burpo has been named to the All-OVC Second Team twice in her career, first in the 2019-20 season, where she recorded six double-doubles, and once again in the 2021-22 season. She was also named to the 2021-22 OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

Burpo’s teammate, junior forward Katelyn Young, was recognized for the fourth time this season as MVC Player of the Week. Young is averaging 21.9 points, 2.2 assists and 8.6 rebounds per game this year. She also has the most 30+ point games in the MVC with six. 

Two of  Young’s 30+ point performances came from this weekend, which made the decision of who will get this week’s Player of the Week award much easier. Young scored 34 in the Racers’ 92-86 loss to Missouri State on Friday, Feb. 17 and 31 against SIU on Sunday. 

Young’s scoring frenzy only resulted in one win from the weekend, though. The narrow loss to the Missouri State Bears and the 83-69 win over the Salukis have the Racers in seventh place in the MVC with an overall record of 13-12 and a conference record of 6-10.

Murray State has had an up-and-down season, struggling mightily against conference opponents on the road, going 1-7. There is plenty to cheer about, though: the Racers have had an impressive first year in the new conference and are fully capable to upset one of the higher seeds come tournament time.

Before the MVC Tournament starts, the Racers have four more games to play. 

Murray State’s next game is at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23 as they host the Drake University Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are fifth in the MVC with an overall record of 16-8 and a conference record of 11-5. 

The Racers fell to the Bulldogs 80-67 in the Jan. 8 meeting between the two teams. The Bulldogs shot 50% from the field in the matchup. Senior guard Sarah Beth Gueldner and senior forward Maggie Bair put up 18 points each in the win over Murray State.

Unless Drake loses all of its remaining games and UIC wins every game left in the regular season, the top five seeds are set. With four games left, the Racers have plenty to play for, though. Conference seeding is based off a team’s conference record, and in the case of a tied conference record, their overall record plays.

The highest the Racers could climb in the MVC standings is the sixth seed. Murray State would have to win two games more than the Flames within the next four matchups to avoid a tie-breaker. On the flip side, the Racers will have to win the same amount of games or more than the University of Evansville and SIU to stay in sixth place. These next four games will have a heavy influence on Murray State’s seeding.

The Racers currently have the same conference record as Evansville and SIU. However, Murray State has two more overall wins than Evansville and four more than SIU. Meaning if the three teams all end up with the same conference record, the Racers would be the highest-seeded team in the MVC Tournament among the three. 

It’s crunch time in the college basketball world. This is the time of year that fans love. Teams go on Cinderella runs, get their hearts broken and everything in between. 

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