The power of one met its match on Saturday night.
Murray State’s 88-51 loss to the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles put an end to the regular season, and not a satisfactory one for Murray State Head Coach Rob Cross.
Starters for the Racers (12-17, 8-8 Ohio Valley Conference) included junior guard Tessa Elkins, redshirt sophomore guard Erica Burgess, senior guard Mallory Schwab, junior forward Kyra Watson and senior forward/center Kayla Lowe.
Led by Elkins with 11 points and three rebounds, the Racers finished the game shooting 20 percent behind the arc, a change of pace for the second ranked team in the OVC for three point shots.
“One thing I can say about Tessa is that she play hard all the time,” Cross said. “She always gives that extra effort even tonight.”
The Golden Eagles gave the team a run for their money with a 2-0 run, a turnover and a steal in the first two minutes of play.
The Racers tried to take advantage of Lowe beyond the perimeter to fill an early six point deficit. Lowe shot for 1-5 in three pointers by the end of the game.
After making up for lost focus, Murray State quickly turned the game around with Elkins working as an offensive powerhouse and attacking the rim.
The Racer lead shrunk with full retaliation from Tennessee Tech’s Jala Harris, who ended the game shooting for 24 points and 2 rebounds.
A once close game with four lead changes eventually was taken by force when a Tennessee Tech team with no three point attempts shot for 57 percent beyond the arch.
“I’m disappointed that we couldn’t sustain that effort we had for the first eight minutes,” Cross said. “Our energy level dropped off considerably.”
Abrupt passes, 25 percent field goal shooting and 11 turnovers left the Racers in an 18 point hole at halftime with a score of 43-25.
A similar situation bled into the second half, with successful drives from Tennessee Tech and poor shooting accuracy for Murray State.
Golden Eagle center Brittany Darling was quick to retrieve the ball. Darling is second for Tennessee Tech in rebounds, averaging 5.7 per game.
Harris’ shooting carried over in the second half, making shots on double and triple coverage consistently and making layups in transition.
With an opportunity to even the score, the Racers fell behind shooting for 28 percent in the paint and 2-9 three point shots made in the second half.
The Racers left a packed to the brim Eblen Center with a loss at a final score of 88-51.
Their next game will be the first for the Racers in the OVC tournament this Thursday at Noon in Nashville, Tenn. They will start as a fourth seed.