Preview: Women’s basketball preps for MVC Tournament


Junior forward Katelyn Young was named to the All-MVC First Team for her efforts in the 2022-23 season for the Racers. Photo by Rebeca Mertins Chiodini/The News.

Ronan Summers, Staff Writer

The Racers have set their focus on the University of Evansville and the MVC Tournament after their road trip that started on Thursday, March 2 against the Valparaiso Beacons and ended on Saturday, March 4 against the UIC Flames. 

Murray State split the weekend, picking up a 77-64 win over the Beacons and falling to the Flames 65-58. The Racers have an overall record of 14-15 this season with a conference record of 7-13 as they head into the MVC Tournament. 

Their 7-13 conference record has the Racers slotted as the eighth seed in the tournament this year. Their first matchup will be against the University of Evansville Aces. The Aces are the ninth seed in the tournament with a conference record of 6-14. 

The Aces struggled overall this year, going 11-18. This isn’t the time to underestimate an opponent, though: crazy things happen in the world of basketball in March.

The Racers fell to the Aces in the first meeting between the two teams this season. The Aces picked up a 75-67 win over the Racers on Jan. 27. The Racers got payback, however, as they won the second meeting 80-60 on Feb. 12. 

Evansville’s senior guard Abby Feit leads the Aces in points per game, averaging 15.6. She also averages 7.6 rebounds and one steal per game. In the last four games of the season for the Aces, Feit averaged 20 points and 8.75 rebounds. She’s heating up at the perfect time for her team. 

Feit put up 26 points in the first matchup against the Racers and 11 in the second. If the Aces are to have a repeat of their first game against Murray State, Feit scoring 20+ would be a good start. 

Aces senior guard Miya Clark, who is in her fifth year, is averaging 11.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game this season. Redshirt junior center Barbora Tomancova has averaged 6.5 rebounds and 8.2 points a game for the Aces.

On the other side, junior forward Katelyn Young has led the way for the Racers and was named to the All MVC First-Team for this season. She has averaged 21.3 points this season, shot 52% from the field and averaged 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists a game. In 29 games played, Young leads the MVC in points per game; the second highest scorer in the MVC has averaged 18.8 this season. Young also averages the fourth most rebounds in the conference. 

Young is accompanied by redshirt senior guard Macey Turley, who averages 12 points, 3.2 assists and 2.9 rebounds a game. Turley is a Murray native and is nearing the end of her time as a Racer.

Redshirt senior forward Alexis Burpo also is a Murray native. She too is going into a collegiate conference tournament for the final time in her playing career. Burpo averages 4.5 points and 4.2 rebounds a game, playing about 19 minutes a game. 

Redshirt senior Jordyn Hughes transferred to Murray State before this season and made an immediate impact. She has averaged 5.4 points per game while shooting 41% from the field. Hughes, like Turley and Burpo, is entering the final stretch of her collegiate career. She and the rest of the seniors say they wish to delay their departure as much as possible. A tournament run would do just that.

Junior forward Hannah McKay averages 9.9 points and 6.6 rebounds a game for the Racers. She is Young’s rebounding partner in crime and has scored double-digit points in four of the last six games to end the regular season. Junior guard Bria Sanders-Woods has started in 21 of the 29 games she has played in, averaging 6.2 points and 2.3 assists a game. 

It has been a rollercoaster type of season for the Racers. The switch to a new conference has come with its hiccups, but every team has a chance to win the MVC Tournament and punch their ticket into March Madness. 

The tournament matchup between the Racers and Aces tips off at noon on Thursday, March 9 in Moline, Illinois. If the Racers win, they would play at noon on Friday, March 10 against top-seeded Illinois State. The winner of that game would go on to play at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 11. The championship will then be played at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 12. 


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