Hopes cut short by SIUE defeat after two-game win

Kalli Bubb/The News Freshman forward and guard, Ke’Shunan James jumps for the block against Cougars freshman guard, Donshel Beck.
Kalli Bubb/The News Freshman forward and guard, Ke’Shunan James jumps for the block against Cougars freshman guard, Donshel Beck.

Kalli Bubb/The News
Freshman forward and guard, Ke’Shunan James jumps for the block against Cougars freshman guard, Donshel Beck.

After two wins, the women’s basketball team couldn’t match up against the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Cougars. The game was close but the Racers couldn’t get the win 69-78.

Murray opened with a 3-pointer by freshman forward and guard, Ke’Shunan James giving them an advantage for just a short time. With five minutes left in the first half, the Racers tied it at 26-26. With five seconds left in the first half Senior guard, Keiona Kirby shoots a 3-pointer leaving the Racers to trail by one point but only for a moment as they shoot a free throw tying a second time at 34-34 going into the half.

Coming back from the half, the Cougars make a layup 2-point shot leaving the fans looking for more points from the Racers. Junior guard, Ajee Smith and junior forward, Bianca Babic throw back-to-back 3-pointers tying the Racers for a third time at 43-43.

After a few good free throws and layups by the Cougars, Head Coach Rob Cross calls a time out desperately trying to stop the Cougars offense.

Kirby attempts two 3-pointer’s with less than a minute left. With 27 seconds left to go the Racers and Cougars go hard with both teams visibly frustrated and pushing one another.

Finishing the night the Racers come off the court of a previous two-game win with a 69-78 loss.

Prior to the game against the Cougars, the Racers faced the Austin Peay State Lady Govs Feb. 7, winning their first road game of the season 98-84.

The game began with the Racers and Cougars trading points back and forth, tying three times in the first half. Bringing the game back in the second half, Cross changed his lineup and gave the Racers an advantage as they brought the score from a one-point lead to a six-point lead.

With less than three minutes left, the Racers pushed themselves to victory.

Freshman forward and guard Ke’Shunan James was named the Madness Mid-Major National Player of the Week by College Sports Madness for her efforts.

James had two career-highs with 31 points and 12 field goals and tied her career-highs of seven free throws and six assists. She was the team leader in points against the Lady Govs.

The Racers play the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks on Saturday in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

There are only four remaining regular season games before the OVC Tournament March 4-7 in Nashville, Tenn.

Story by Kelsey RandolphAssistant Sports Editor