Story by Mark McFarland, Assistant Sports Editor
Jacksonville State defeated Murray State 74-71 Saturday night to bring the Racers OVC record to 2-1.
Murray State came into the game with a 6-7 record and a 2-0 OVC record. The Racers had defeated Morehead State 83-79 and Tennessee Tech 56-50 at home. JSU came into the game 6-9 record and a 1-2 OVC record.
Sophomore forward Ke’Shunan James entered the game leading the Racers with 20.7 points per game. Junior guard Briana Benson entered the game leading JSU with 10.7 points per game.
For much of the first half the Racers and Gamecocks went back and forth battling for position to take a lead into halftime. The halftime lead for the Racers was a slim one-point lead with a 20-19 score. Neither team was able to get past stellar defense throughout the first half.
However, the second half was a different story. The Racers and Gamecocks were able to outscore their respective scores from the first half in just the third quarter. Both teams continued to battle and go back and forth for much of the second half.
The Gamecocks were able to capitalize and score 13 points on the Racers 12 turnovers to head on their way to the victory.
James was able to lead the Racers with 26 points and Benson led the Gamecocks with 18 points of her own. The win helped get JSU to 2-2 in conference play while dropping the Racers to 2-1.
Murray State will head to Nashville, Tennessee for its next two games averaging 68.6 points per game while giving up 70.7 points per game. The Racers will face Belmont on Thursday Jan. 14 and Tennessee State Saturday Jan. 16 for their next two games.