Late rally not enough for women’s basketball

Photo by Bryan Edwards/TheNews

Story by Gage Johnson

After its recent road trip, Murray State’s women’s basketball  returned home to take on Morehead State, but fell just short of a win, falling 82-80.

The Racers got off to a slow start in the first quarter, while the Eagles came flying out of the gates. Murray State shot 22 percent with struggles in the first quarter, while Morehead State hit just about everything they looked at, hitting 57 percent of their shots from the field.  Murray State started knocking down more shots in the second quarter, sending the Racers to the locker room only trailing nine.

Trailing at the half, Head Coach Rechelle Turner wanted her team to get out and attack on both ends of the floor.

“We knew we had to go after them,” said Turner.  “We talked about the fact we had to up the intensity.  We knew we had to take it to them.”

After maintaining the pace in the third quarter, some full court pressure from the Racers turned this game into a prize fight.  Morehead State turned over the ball 16 times in the second half after having only two at halftime and Murray State capitalized with 21 points off turnovers.  However, the comeback effort, led by James’ 34 points, wasn’t enough.

After a three by sophomore guard Bria Bethea tied the game at 80 a piece, Morehead State sophomore Miranda Crockett ran an isolation at the top of the key and was able to get into the lane for a layup to take the lead 82-80. Murray State attempted to retaliate by running a double screen for Bethea out of a timeout. The Racers got the ball to junior guard Abria Gulledge at the top of the key and she missed a three-pointer as the final buzzer sounded.

Coach Turner said she was proud of their efforts, but believes if her team could put together a full game, things would be a lot different.

“I told them if we could find a way to get ourselves to Evansville, I don’t think anyone would want to draw us,” said Turner.  “We are better, and it’s not only being recognized by myself and our staff, but by the other teams in the conference as well.  We’ve got to control our own destiny and string together a few wins.

This was the first of two home games the Racers will play after their recent road trip.  Having lost the first in late-game fashion, Murray State will look to bounce back and continue to improve when they take on Eastern Kentucky at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27, at the CFSB Center.