The Student Newspaper of Murray State

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

PREVIEW: Racers go hooping in the Heartland

Jakob Milani
The Racers’ bench explodes in celebration after a play from freshman guard Zoe Stewart.

In the world of college basketball, the month of March brings an entirely new level of excitement to the game every season.

Dreams are either made or crushed in this portion of the season. Teams go on Cinderella runs deep into postseason tournaments. Names are made in March.

After going 3-2 in the last five games of the season, the Murray State Racers head to Moline, Illinois, to participate in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, “Hoops in the Heartland.” 

The MVC Tournament seeds each team based off of their conference record. If two teams have the same conference record, their overall record is used as a tiebreaker.

The Racers enter the tournament as the sixth seed after going 12-8 against conference opponents and 19-10 overall. Their first tournament game will be at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 14 against the Bradley Beacons. 

The Beacons are the eleventh seed in the MVC Tournament after going 2-18 in MVC play and 6-25 this season. The Racers defeated the Beacons both times during the regular season. Murray State hosted the first matchup, and won the game 99-52. The two teams clashed in the Racers’ regular season finale, where Murray State picked up an 81-64 road win.

Of the four Racers to average double-digit points, senior forward Katelyn Young led the team and the MVC in points per game, averaging 19.7 points. 

Junior forward Ava Learn averaged 10.9 points, and freshman guard Haven Ford averaged 10.3 points this season, with both of them coming off of the bench. Senior forward Hannah McKay finished the season averaging 10.2 points. 

The Racers led the MVC in points per game (85.52) and finished the season with the second-best field-goal percentage in the conference (45%), but they allowed the second-most points per game (76.17). Murray State was no slouch in the rebound game, as they had the third-best rebound margin (+4.14).

The winner of the matchup between Murray State and Bradley will go on to play at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, March 15, against the third-seed Missouri State Bears. 

The Bears went 15-5 in MVC play and 21-8 overall. 

The winner of that game will play at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, in the semi-finals. 

If the Racers were to make it to the semi-finals, either Belmont, University of Illinois-Chicago or Valparaiso would be their opponent. 

The MVC Championship will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 17.

If you cannot make it to Moline this weekend for Hoops in the Heartland, you can watch every game live on ESPN+. 


[email protected]

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Ronan Summers, Sports writer
Jakob Milani
Jakob Milani, Sports Editor
Jakob Milani is all about sports. He joined the staff of The Murray State News in 2020 as a sports writer, assigned to women's basketball, and by fall 2021 was named Sports Editor. He is a dedicated lover of all things Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears related, and loves to talk about all things sports. He is a co-host of "The Iron Grid" podcast with fellow sports writer Ronan Summers, and only ever watches ESPN in his down time. Aside from sports, Jakob also has a passion for music and baking. His favorite artists include Nirvana, Travis Scott, and Queen. His favorite item to bake is cheesecake.

Comments (0)

All The Murray State News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *