Women ready to take on Eastern Illinois

The Murray State women’s basketball team will look to bounce back after Monday’s loss to Tennessee State when it travels to league leader Eastern Illinois on Saturday.

On Monday, the Racers six-game win-streak came to a close at the hands of the Lady Tigers with a 67-61 loss at the CFSB Center. The game got off to a slow start for the Racers, as the Lady Tigers jumped out to an 11-point lead mid-way through the opening half.

However, from that point, Tennessee State went cold and missed their last 13 shots of the frame. The drought allowed the Racers to battle back and end the half on a 13-0 run. Despite trailing for the majority of the stanza, the run allowed MSU took a 27-25 lead into the locker room at the break.

In the second half, the two teams went back and forth for the first 8 minutes, with neither team able to pull away. However, with 11:07 to play freshman Erika Sisk hit pair of free throws to start a 15-7 run that gave Murray State an eight point lead with just under seven minutes to play.

Despite the lead, the Racers were not able to put TSU away and allowed the Lady Tigers to charge back. Leading by just one with 3:31 to play, Murray State experienced its own drought and missed its last five field goal attempts of the game from that point.

Tennessee State was able to take advantage of the cold spell and ended the game on a 7-0 run. The Racers, however, were not without their chances late in the game, but missed two layups in the last 30 seconds to give the Lady Tigers a 67-61 win.

Sisk finished the game with a career-high 29 points to go along with five rebounds and three assists. Senior Jessica Winfrey led the Racers on the boards in the game with 11, while freshman Kelsey Dirks finished just one rebound shy of a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds.

Despite the loss, on Tuesday there was joy to be found as Sisk was named as the adidasĀ® OVC Player and Freshman of the Week. Sisk led the Racers with 25.0 points per game over a 1-1 week.

The Oxford, Miss., native scored 21 in a non-conference win over New Orleans on Wednesday and followed that up with her career night against TSU. For the week, Sisk shot 53.3 percent (16-30) from the floor, 62.5 percent (5-8) from 3-point range and 81.3 percent (13-16) from the free throw line.

Tuesday’s honor marks the first time in her career that Sisk has been named as Player of the Week and the ninth time that she has earned the Freshman of the Week award. She has now won the Freshman honor in each of the past six weeks.

Saturday will be the 40th meeting between the two teams overall and the 18th in Charleston. The Racers lead the all-time series 24-15, but trail at EIU, 10-7. Earlier this season, the Racers put a stop to a three-game win streak in the series by the Panthers by winning at home, 68-58. However, despite the win in Murray, EIU has still won the last three games at Lantz Arena.

The Panthers enter Monday at 16-8 overall and 9-2 in the OVC and are coming off of an 86-30 win over Division II Oakland City on Wednesday. Ta’Kenya Nixon led the Panthers in the win with 19 points, while Sydney Mitchell notched a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Nixon currently leads EIU in scoring this season at 14.0 points per game, while Sabina Oroszova leads EIU in rebounds with 6.4. As a team, the Panthers are currently +4.8 on the year in scoring and +5.5 in rebounds.

Fans can follow all the action with Kyle Rogers on 1340 WNBS AM and at OVCDigitalNetwork.com. Live stats will also be available for the contest at GoRacers.com.

Story courtesy of Sports Information.