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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Second half struggles continue for women’s basketball

Kristopher Fister
Senior forward Katelyn Young goes for a midrange jump shot.

As the season nears an end and every game becomes just a bit more crucial, the Racers hosted the Belmont Bruins on Feb. 25.

The Bruins held the Racers scoreless through the first three minutes of the game, as they were up 6-0 with 7:09 left in the first quarter. Racers freshman guard Haven Ford earned Murray State’s first points with 7:02 left. 

Murray State was able to narrow Belmont’s lead to three points by the end of the first quarter, with the Racers trailing 18-15. Both teams shot very similarly in the quarter, as the Racers were 6-13 and the Bruins were 8-17 from the field. 

The Racers and Bruins stayed within four points of each other throughout the entire second quarter. Both teams continued to trade shots until the Racers were able to put together a small run after being down 31-28 with 1:15 left in the first half. The run put the Racers up 32-31 at halftime.

In the first half, Murray State was 14-31 (45%) and Belmont was 13-28 (46%) from the field. 

Murray State had their biggest lead of the game with 9:41 left in the third quarter after senior forward Hannah McKay converted on a four-point play to give the Racers a 36-31 lead. 

The Bruins took the lead with 1:11 left in the third quarter and held onto it for the rest of the game. After going into the final quarter down 50-47, the Racers scored just six points through the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. 

“I never felt good the entire game because of the pace,” said Racers Head Coach Rechelle Turner. “At halftime I didn’t feel good about it, it was kind of playing right into how they wanted to play and we never could get the game sped up, partly because we couldn’t get enough stops.”

These offensive struggles allowed the Bruins to add onto their lead and take the 76-63 road win. The Bruins were 27-55 (49%) from the field and 16-17 (94%) from the free-throw line. They only turned the ball over eight times and committed 12 fouls. The Racers out rebounded the Bruins 34-31 in the loss. 

“They’re so good defensively,” said Turner. “In the half court, they make things really hard on you. And then they’re so poised and they run really good stuff offensively. It’s really hard to guard.”

Murray State ended up shooting 26-62 (42%) from the field and only got to the free-throw line six times in the loss, but made all of them. The Racers turned the ball over 13 times and committed 18 fouls. 

McKay led the Racers in points with 13, made the one free throw she attempted, was 4-8 from behind the arc and had four rebounds. Junior forward Ava Learn totaled 11 points and four rebounds, as senior forward Katelyn Young had nine rebounds, seven points and five assists. Ford finished the game with nine points, six rebounds and two assists. 

The Racers fell to 16-9 overall and 9-7 within the conference after losing at home to the second seed in the Missouri Valley Conference by a score of 76-63.

The Racers now turn their focus to their 6 p.m. Friday, March 1, home matchup with the Evansville Aces. If you cannot make it to the game, you can watch it live on ESPN+.


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Ronan Summers, Sports writer

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