Story by Kelsey Randolph, Sports Editor and Mark McFarland, Assistant Sports Editor
Five Murray State basketball players put up double digit points in Friday’s game against the University of Evansville, but it wasn’t enough to beat the 7-1 Purple Aces. The Racers lost in overtime efforts, 85-81.
Junior guard, Justin Seymour started the game with the most effort and energy. Seymour’s three 3-pointers, a layup and a jumper gave the Racers thirteen points. In addition to his efforts, junior forward Gee McGhee, senior forward Jeffery Moss and junior guard Bryce Jones all made several shots worthy to give the Racers the lead in the first half, 43-38.
“It felt good– it was good to come out and see the ball go through the net,” Seymour said. “At the end of the day we lost, we just have to get better.”
Immediately into the second half the Racers fouled giving the Purple Aces two good free throws. The Purple Aces’ senior guard D.J. Balentine and senior center Egidijus Mockevicius both put up more than five layups, a few jumpers and a free throw by Balentine to set Evansville over the edge. In the last 11 seconds the Purple Aces fouled and one good free throw by Jones tied the game. In the last two second, Jones attempted a jumper but it didn’t making it, sending the game into overtime.
“You’re not going to stop that team,” said Head Coach Matt McMahon. “You got to try to contain them, make their looks tough and we were able to do that early and they hit us with a 10-0 run right there to get it right back. From that point forward it was really a possession by possession game.”
Overtime was not any less eventful, Racer fans and Purple Aces fans all stood on their feet cheering. The last five minutes was filled with fouls and free throws by both teams. The buzzer beater layup by Jones wasn’t enough to beat the free throw points made by Mockevicius.
Leading the night in points for the Racers was Jones with 21 pints and Langston with 18. The top scorers for the Purple Aces was Balentine with 32 points and Mockevicius with 22.
“Justin is going to play a lot of minutes for us,” McMahon said. “Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench. He was fantastic in the first half hit some big shots, really moved well with the basketball and then in the second half, credit to Evansville, they made some adjustments.”
The Racers are back on the road to Normal, Illinois to square off against Illinois State on Dec. 13 then are back at home at 7 p.m. on Dec. 18 to face the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Salukis.
Murray State defeated the University of Evansville 73-54 Saturday, after having a five game losing streak.
The offensive struggles stopped for the Racers as they were able to finish the second quarter with a 24-9 run to take a 38-24 lead into the second half.
Murray State’s defense and offense was able to play well as it took a 53-37 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Racers were lead by Le’Asia Wright, junior from Louisville, Kentucky with 27 points and was followed by Ke’Shunan James, sophomore from Jackson, Tennessee, with 17 points of her own.
Murray State will not play its next game until Dec. 14 when it host Blue Mountain.