Story by Mark McFarland, Assistant Sports Editor
Murray State took to the road this week after winning the first game of the season, defeating Oakland City at home, and the road trip was played at Alabama A&M on Sunday and at Illinois State Wednesday.
The Racers started the season off on a high note defeating Oakland City 91-75 at home. It was the first game with the new rule changes implemented this season. Ke’Shunan James, sophomore from Jackson, Tennessee, led all scorers with 26 points shooting 9-20 from the floor. As a team Murray State shot just 37 percent from the floor. Head Coach Rob Cross said he wants the team to get better looks and get the ball inside more.
“We had shooters that were taking wide open shots and not making them,” Cross said in a press conference after the win against Oakland City. “But why not try and get to basket and see it go in attack the basket?”
Murray State opened up its road season with a win at Alabama A&M 76-59. James again led all scorers with 29 points with LeAsia Wright, junior from Louisville, Kentucky, followed behind her with 17 points. The Racers shot 39 percent from the floor as a team while holding their opponents to 36 percent from the floor. The Racers out-rebounded their opponents 47-37 with 17 offensive rebounds.
Murray State traveled to Illinois State Wednesday to put their 2-0 season on the line. The Racers lost the game 81-76. Murray State shot just 36 percent from the floor as the Redbirds shot 43 percent. Wright led the team with 21 points with James coming in with 16 points of her own.
The Racers return home for a showdown Saturday against Central Arkansas. Central Arkansas comes into the game with a 1-1 record, defeating Hendrix College 72-43, and losing to the University of Tennessee 102-47. The Racers come into the game scoring an average of 83.5 points per game this year, while Central Arkansas averages 59.5 points in the young season.
Murray State is led by James who is averaging 23.7 points per game, and behind her is Wright with 18.3 points per game. Central Arkansas is led by Jameka Watkins, senior from England, Arkansas, with 26.5 points per game and following her is Kendara Watts, senior from Fairfield, Alabama, with an even 26 points per game.
Defensively the Racers have been able to hold their opponents to just an average of 71.6 points per game. Central Arkansas has allowed their opponents to score 72.5 points.