Women’s basketball earns points toward Battle of the Border

Story by Blake Sandlin, Staff writer

 

Murray State’s women’s basketball won its second game in a row Saturday night with a 67-62 win over Austin Peay State.

After losing five-straight games, the Racers rallied their second-straight win, improving to 14-11 on the year and 6-6 in conference play. Coming into Saturday night, junior forward Ke’Shunan James was averaging 19.5 points per game for Murray State.

Saturday night was no different as James continued her scoring barrage, leading the Racers in scoring with 28 points along with eight rebounds. Kyra Gulledge, senior forward, grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the team. Junior guard, Bria Bethea, pitched in 19 points, all of which came in the second half of the game.

James complimented the performance by Bethea, praising her ability to shoot the ball no matter the situation.

“Bria is coming along, and I love it,” James said. “Because she’s not afraid to score the ball, she’s definitely not afraid to shoot it. She takes risks, and I’m loving her right now.”

The Governors’ Tearra Banks, senior center, led all scorers with 31 points and nine rebounds. Keisha Gregory, sophomore guard, added 14 points along with seven rebounds in a losing effort by Austin Peay.

Murray State’s win has them tied with Austin Peay for fourth place in the OVC standings at 6-6. The Racers also extended their lead in the Battle of the Border Saturday against Austin Peay, with the women’s win pushing the lead to 19.5-7.5.

The Racers and Governors played a tight first half that had Murray State up just two points at halftime. Murray State’s Head Coach Rob Cross said he was pleased with his team’s ability to compete in the second half and outplay their opponent.

“We did a great job in the second half applying pressure,” Cross said. “We out-rebounded them in the second half, which was critical. We outscored them in points in the paint, and with Banks on your team, you’re going to get a lot of points in the paint.”

The Racers will be on the road next game, tipping off at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15 against Eastern Illinois, who is currently sitting at 4-9 in OVC play.