Story by Collin Morris, Assistant Sports Editor
With an 83-82 loss to UT Martin on Saturday night, the Murray State women’s basketball team has officially lost their conference tournament bid and fallen out of OVC Championship contention.
The Racers finished with a 15-14 overall record and a 7-9 conference record. The loss put them in a four-way tie in the OVC tournament with Southeast Missouri State, Tennessee Tech and Eastern Kentucky. The tiebreaker was determined by head-to-head records between all teams. Tech finished 3-1, SEMO and EKU 2-2 and Murray State 1-3, leaving them in ninth place and out of the tournament.
The 2016-2017 season ended on a missed buzzer-beater from junior forward Ke’Shunan James, who finished with 29 points on 11-of-24 shooting and seven rebounds. She ends the season averaging 20.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists.
Senior guard LeAsia Wright finished her final season with a 14.3 points per game average, making her the team’s second leading scorer. Wright played to her averages against the Skyhawks, finishing with 14 points, shooting 60 percent and grabbing four rebounds.
Sophomore forward Abria Gulledge and junior guard Bria Bethea mirrored the team’s leaders, with Gulledge tallying 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting and Bethea 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
Despite losing the first half by a 54-45 margin, the Racers rallied back, winning the second half 37-29. UTM also led by as much as 11 points toward the end of the first half.
The Racers lose seniors Krystal James, Daniella Pisano, Kyra Gulledge and Wright. The team will reconvene for its 2017-2018 season in the winter of this year.