Story by Mark McFarland, Assistant Sports Editor
Murray State’s four game win streak came to an end Saturday after losing to Austin Peay State, 81-72.
The Racers jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter behind junior guard LeAsia Wright and sophomore guard Jasmine Borders three point shooting, leading the team to a 23-9 run for the first quarter.
Austin Peay began to outscore the Racers 22-15 in the third quarter. The defense for Murray State in the first half forced eight turnovers. Offensively the Racers were just as dominant in hanging onto the ball in the first half only committing three turnovers themselves.
Foul trouble haunted the Racers in the second half as senior forward Kyra Gulledge fouled out of the game in the fourth quarter. James and Wright committed four fouls each. Head Coach Rob Cross said the team needs Gulledge on the court in order to be successful in the rebounding game.
“I think it hurt a lot,” Cross said on the early exit by Gulledge. “She’s certainly our best rebounder.”
Gulledge ended the game with five points and three rebounds. James finished with 19 points while Borders added 18 points of her own. Senior forward Bianca Babic came off the bench to fill in the shoes of Gulledge, she scored nine points and had one rebound in the game.
The Racers have a bye week and will return next Saturday for play. Cross said he is not sure if the week off will be as good for him as it would seem on the outside, but the team has been playing well and he doesn’t want them to lose their rhythm.
The final game of the regular season will be at 5 p.m. Saturday Feb. 26 at the CFSB Center. The Racers will host UT Martin in a rematch of a 30 point loss Jan. 30.
If the Racers win on Saturday they will be in the tournament, but Cross said he believes that even with a loss there is still a shot for his team to make the OVC Tournament.