A revitalized women’s basketball squad earned a 103-59 win in its exhibition game against Berea Sunday.
Every player on Head Coach Rob Cross’ team scored in the final showing of the preseason
“I felt like we were a little tight early in the game with our younger players, but it was a perfect game from us from an exhibition standpoint,” Cross said. “We got to see some different combinations of players and how it worked.”
The Racers controlled the game from the start, taking a quick 7-0 lead in the game’s opening minutes.
While Berea hung close for much of the half, the Racers blew the game open toward halftime.
Freshmen Taylor Porter and Janssen Starks started as guards, the two combined to shoot 1-12 from the field but each had two assists.
Murray State’s aggressive defense was on display throughout the game, as it forced eight turnovers, leading to 13 points in the opening 20 minutes.
With the first half winding down, the Racers drained four straight 3-pointers to end the half on a 22-8 run and take a 47-24 lead.
The Racers continued to use the 3-pointer in the second half as the pressing Berea zone defense allowed open opportunities.
The Racers would hit nine in the final 20 minutes, improving their shooting numbers from the first half. The team finished shooting 36 percent from the 3-point line.
“With this team, 41 three’s are not too much for this team,” Cross said. “The one thing about us is that (the team) can also put it down on the floor and get to the rim.”
While Cross said he was pleased with how his team shot the ball, he wasn’t impressed with the Racers shooting 61 percent from the free throw line.
“We got (to the line) a lot, especially considering they were dropping back into their zone out of the press and we need to shoot much better than that,” Cross said.
The Racers’ depth was on full display against the Mountaineers.
Freshman guard Nikia Edom led the team in scoring with 17 points off the bench. Fellow freshman, Julia Fox, joined Edom from the sideline to score 12 points, all behind the 3-point line.
“This team has a lot of people that can shoot the basketball and we are deeper than we have been since I’ve been here,” Cross said. “We have seven players that are really starters for us.”
Jessica Winfrey, the lone senior on the squad, played limited minutes in the exhibition.
However, she was still able to put up a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
“She got out of the game what she needed from it, which is what you are looking for in exhibitions,” Cross said. “This type of game is what we expect from her this season.”
Murray State now turns its attention to its season opener against Robert Morris-Springfield, which will be the first collegiate game for the seven freshmen on the team.
The Racers tip off the 2013-2014 season at 7 p.m. tonight at the CFSB Center.
Story by Tom Via, Sports writer