Racers stay busy over holiday break

Jenny Rohl/The News
Bryce Jones, junior guard, goes down the court during  the game against Alabama A&M Nov. 28.Jenny Rohl/The News Bryce Jones, junior guard, goes down the court during the game against Alabama A&M Nov. 28.

Story by Kelsey Randolph, Sports Editor

Jenny Rohl/The News Bryce Jones, junior guard, goes down the court during  the game against Alabama A&M Nov. 28.

Jenny Rohl/The News
Bryce Jones, junior guard, goes down the court during the game against Alabama A&M Nov. 28.

Returning home after a few weeks on the road, the Racers come back to the CFSB Center with a close loss to Georgia, a second place trophy in the Gulf Coast Showcase, another close win over Alabama A&M and a loss to Houston.

In a late lead against the Georgia Bulldogs on Nov. 20 the Racers led 50-48 in the last four and a half minutes left in the game. With a good outlook, the Racers’ junior guard Bryce Jones made a three-point play but it was not match for the last minute 3-pointers made by the Bulldogs. Jones, freshman guard Chad Culbreath and junior guard Damarcus Croaker finished the night with 11 points each.

The Racers held the Bulldogs to a 30 percent shooting on 17 of 57 shots but Murray State was 17 of 56.

During the Georgia game, senior forward Jeffery Moss had 996 career points and met his 1,000 points in the first round of the Gulf Coast Showcase the following week.

In a second half surge the Racers beat the University of Wisconsin Milwuakee  66-63 in the first round of the Gulf Coast Showcase.

After falling behind in the first half and down by nine points in the first minute of the second half, three three-pointers were made by Jones, putting the Racers in the lead. Not backing down, junior guard Justin Seymour hit a jumper and three more 3-pointers followed by one from junior forward Gee McGhee finished the Racers with a close finish.

Advancing to the second round of the showcase, Murray State faced Pepperdine in the semifinals, winning 59-55.

Against the Pepperdine Waves, the Racers continued to trail, mirroring the two previous games until a pair of free throws from Jones, a layup from Culbreath, a point from senior forward Wayne Langston and a three-point foul followed by two free throws put the Racers ahead.

“I’m so proud of these guys,” Head Coach Matt McMahon said on GoRacers.com. “They fought like crazy and I believe they were down with about five minutes to go and it just really locked in defensively and we got stop after stop and then for the first time really all game the last two and a half minutes our guys really executed extremely well at the offensive end.”

Finishing the Gulf Coast Showcase in the finals, the Racers faced Weber State for a 75-59 loss.

Murray State was in the lead until two shows made by Weber in the second half took them in their largest lead of the game. After that the Wildcats continued to shoot well leaving the Racers to trail the rest of the game.

During the three games, the Racers’ Langston averaged 15 points and four rebounds shooting 74 percent on 20 of 27 from the field.

Along with other schools, Langston was named to the All Tournament Team.

Returning home to play Alabama A&M, the Racers won in a 63-61 game against the Bulldogs. Moss’s jumper and Langston’s free throw lead the team with 1:42 left in the game.

Leading in the half the Racers only trailed by one rebound total and limited the Bulldogs to three offensive rebounds in the second half.

“We’re entering the last week of the semester and we’re going to hold them accountable,” McMahon said. “Just like we hold them accountable on the basketball court I’m going to hold them accountable in the classroom. They really will have a lot of study hall hours. We really need to lock in and finish the semester strong.”

Wednesday night the Racers faced the Houston Cougars and lost 98-73.

The Racers fought a hard game, despite Croaker sitting out the game. McGhee led the team with 17 points followed by Jones and Moss with 14 points and Culbreath with 11. The closest score the two game to see what in the second half when Sanchious made a layup putting the Racers only 12 points behind the Cougars with 12:46 left in the game.

The Cougars were still no match for the Racers when they continued to climb the point ladder, winning the game.

The Racers, 5-3 return home and play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against Evansville, 6-1.