After falling 49-59 to the Billikens in St. Louis Saturday, the Racers have one more chance at revenge against St. Louis at 7 p.m. Saturday in the CFSB Center.
In order to tack on another win to their 2-4 record, the Racers will have to create a better balance between the tempo of the game and shooting accuracy.
Head Coach Rob Cross said he is directing practices toward perfecting the fast-paced offense and an intimidating full-court press. Keeping junior guard Mariah Robinson, sophomore guard Erica Burgess and senior forward Kayla Lowe in the majority of the game will create and maintain a good offensive tempo.
On the defensive side of the court, freshman forward Ashleigh McBean has proven to be a rebounding powerhouse. With her dominating height at 6-foot-2, she has an advantage. In the Racers’ first game against Evansville, McBean earned a team-high of 10 rebounds.
Alongside McBean, junior forward Kyra Watson keeps a defensive edge. In last week’s game against St. Louis, Watson totaled eight rebounds and a steal.
The Racers have a definite advantage in their 3-point offense in Robinson, who sank three from the arch alone while St. Louis left the game with only one.
To ensure better chances of winning, the Racers need to work on staying out of foul trouble. Against St. Louis, the team totaled 19 personal fouls and 49 technical fouls, which gives St. Louis opportunities at the free-throw line, where they are accurate at 66.7 percent against the Racers.
Against St. Louis, Burgess sat out for most of the first half in foul trouble. Having starters and shot makers on the bench will really hurt the offensive momentum.
More defensive pressure on St. Louis guard Janisha Gearalds will be a priority as Gearalds racked up 10 points against Murray State.
The Racers left St. Louis with 17 out of 77 field goals attempts and five of 33 3-point shots. For a Murray State win, it is imperative that transitions to the basket are smooth, passing accurate and shots are not made in a hurry.
With a chance at redemption, it will be an exciting game to watch. The Racers will have a home court advantage, which can be a leg up for a team that has played four games on the road in a row. Ultimately, it will be shot accuracy and tempo that will make or break the game.