The Sports staff at The Murray State News chose 10 of our favorite headlines from the past year. Here’s a look at the best and brightest that Murray State Athletics had to offer in 2013.
- The Canaan blasts off
Isaiah Canaan was picked by the Houston Rockets in this year’s NBA draft. He is currently playing in the D-League for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, but may one day be called up to play for the Rockets.
Canaan may not have won his final game as a Racer, but he exited as one of the all-time greats. His senior class graduated with more wins than any other class in Murray State history.
His 2,050 career points place him fifth in career scoring at Murray State, and with 304 career 3-pointers, Canaan is first in this category by more than 50 made shots. He ranks in the top 10 in nine other categories as a Racer.
Canaan earned multiple OVC honors, as he was the 2012-13 Co-MVP, the 2011-12 MVP, the 2009-10 Freshman of the Year and was named to the All-OVC team all four years.
- Catch him if you can
Senior wide receiver Walter Powell missed the last two games of his football career at Murray State, but he still left his mark in the record books.
His 2,650 career receiving yards are the most of any Racer player. Powell also holds the all-time record for most receiving touchdowns with 29, as well as the modern-day record for most total touchdowns by any Murray State player.
In addition to being selected to the All-OVC First Team as a wide receiver and a return specialist, he finished 17th in the voting for the 2013 Walter Payton Award.
- Victory in overtime
A few disappointing losses left the Racers with a bitter taste on the 2013 football season, but it wasn’t all bad.
In its conference opener on the road at Jacksonville State, Murray State took the Gamecocks to overtime.
Risking a loss on a failed attempt, the Racers completed a two-point conversion to beat Jacksonville State to end a nine-game losing streak to the OVC opponent.
Then, to end the season, the Racers again went to overtime, this time against Eastern Kentucky.
The defense made a stop to get the win for the Racers, securing a .500 record on the season and in OVC play.
- Two aces in the hole
Both Murray State golf teams had their share of standouts in 2013 as well. The men said goodbye to Patrick Newcomb, one of the best golfers in program history, after he graduated last spring.
Newcomb was a two-time OVC Player of the Year, All-OVC Newcomer, two-time OVC MVP, competed in the NCAA Championship, is a two-time Kentucky State Amateur title holder and won eight matches as a Racer.
However, Senior Delaney Howson has brought the women’s team to the forefront in Newcomb’s absence.
After earning All-OVC honors for the second year in a row, Howson has not let up in 2013-14.
She set a single round record at the Drake Creek, was named OVC Golfer of the Week twice, finished fourth at the Cardinal Cup, placed first overall at the APSU Intercollegiate, named to the All-OVC Scholar Athlete list and a 13th-place finish at the Old Waverly Tournament.
Howson has also earned OVC Freshman of the Year and finished fifth at the OVC Championships.
- Straight shooters climb the ranks
Racer rifle began the season as the ninth best team in the country, according to the College Rifle Coaches Association top 20 poll. However, it did not stay there long as the team reached the four spot by early November.
After a fourth-place finish at Ole Miss and a loss at UT Martin to start the season, the Racers rattled off two straight tri-match victories.
The first came against Columbus State and Morehead State, and then the Racers took down then No. 3 Jacksonville State and No. 4 TCU, propelling them to the fourth ranked team in the country when the polls came out Nov. 5.
- Put a ring on itIt is possible he is the only player with more championship rings than career points.
Jordan Burge graduated in May 2013 as a member of the winningest class in history. In his time as a Racer, Burge was a three-time OVC champion and was there for 105 Murray State wins, yet he never scored a basket.
His team supported him, though, and All-American point guard Isaiah Canaan gave up his starting spot to Burge on senior night.
He may not have added points, but his role on the team was not lost.
- On and off the fieldSophomore Alexa Becker did more than just lead the Racers in all major offensive categories this season on the softball diamond.
She also became the first academic All-American when she was named to the 2013 Capitol One Academic All-American squad.
She is the first Racer to receive this honor in softball’s short history at Murray State.
Becker was also selected to the All-OVC team as she batted .311 with 33 runs, 12 homers and 32 RBI. She is the University’s 15th recipient of the All-Academic award.
- Win-winDavid Schwepker and the volleyball team defeated Eastern Kentucky in the final game of the season, moving to 16-14 and their first winning record in six seasons.
The Racers also won six conference games, the most won since 2011.
The squad also took the top spot in three out of its first four tournaments of the year, winning the Ashford Suites Spartan-Aggie Invitational, Wright State Invitational and High Point University Classic.
- They are the champions
Fall is the time when individuals work on their game, and for Murray State women’s tennis, the fall was about championships.
In the team’s three fall tournaments, the Racers made 16 championship finals and brought home 11 titles. Junior Andrea Eskauriatza and freshman Eleonore Tchakarova both made all finals in each tournament.
Eskauriatza won the top draw in singles at the Austin Peay Fall Tournament and the Arkansas State Invitational.
Playing in her first tournament, Eleonore Tchakarova showed made her first championship match in her first tournament. She went on to win her draws in the Steve Beras Fall Classic and the Arkansas State Invitational.
Each of the seven players on the team made a final during the fall season and look to carry their fall success into the spring.
- Beyond the arcFive days into 2013, graduated guard Mariah Robinson left her mark in the Racers’ record book.
The Beaver Dam, Ky., native toppled the record of 3-pointers made by more than 50. Robinson beat Amber Guffey’s former mark of 210 during an 82-72 win over UT Martin – it was also the Racers’ first win against the Skyhawks in three years. She finished her illustrious career on the court with 264 buckets from behind the 3-point line.
Robinson was named to the All-Conference team last season and averaged a team-high 15.8 points per game and made 34 percent of her 3-point shots.