Story by Mark McFarland, Assistant Sports Editor
The Racers look to rebound Saturday after posting a fivegame losing streak since winning the first two games.
Murray State started off the season defeating Oakland City and Alabama A&M by a combined score of 167-134. However in the five games since then, the Racers have lost by a combined score of 355-309, while losing three of the games by 10 or more points.
Coach Rob Cross said that the defense is something that has been lacking in the past few games and has been the difference during the losing streak.
“Defensively we really never could get the intensity back and pull their confidence back,” Cross said. “We just did a bad job with what we were supposed to do defensively.”
The Racers came home after two away games, on Wednesday, to take on Southern Illinois. In the first few minutes of the game it looked like it would be a shootout as both teams put their first six points on the board from behind the three-point line, as SIU scored its first 12 off of threes. SIU ended the game shooting 45 percent from the three-point line. Cross said they need to get significantly better with defending the perimeter.
“We have to get dramatically better in that area,” Cross said. “Evansville is a great three-point shooting team, and right now after tonight we are probably giving up around 38 percent from the three-point line.”
Ke’Shunan James, sophomore from Jackson, Tennessee, led the Racers with 19 points on the night and senior Jashae Lee, senior from Rialto, California, followed closely behind with 15 points. Lee said her success came because of how she was able to get to the basket and beat defenders with her aggressiveness.
“On my behalf, it was just me being more aggressive,” Lee said. “I think that I noticed that Pierre and their other post players I could attack them and I could get past them and I’d be able to score.”
SIU defeated the Racers 70-57 to hand Murray State its fifth consecutive loss.
The Racers will look to turn things around when they travel to the University of Evansville to take on the Purple Aces. Evansville comes into the game with a record of 1-5 and is averaging 61.5 points per game. The Racers have a 2-5 record and are averaging 68 points per game.
Sara Dickey is the leading scorer for Evansville with 14.7 points per game and 4.8 rebounds. James leads the Racers with 18.1 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Defensively the Racers are allowing 69.6 points per game while the Purple Aces are allowing 72.6 points.