James reaches historic milestone in loss

Bryan Edwards/The News

Story by Gage Johnson, staff writer

Senior Guard Ke’Shunan James joined the 2,000 point club on the road but Murray State took the loss to Southeast Missouri with a final score of 80-70.

Murray State women’s basketball team came into the game off a 75-68 win against EKU giving them a 8-13 overall record, while holding a record of 4-6 in OVC play.  SEMO entered play standing at 10-12 overall, while owning a 5-5 conference record after taking a 55-48 loss to Jacksonville State on the road.

Both teams seemed poised to take this one right out of the gate as they stayed within reach throughout the first half.  The first half ended with Murray State holding on to the lead 35-32 partially due to a slight edge at the line and beyond the arch. The Redhawks shot 44.4% from the line, while going 1-4 from the three point line, and going 7-8 from the free throw line. The Racers shot 44% from the field in the opening half, while also knocking down 3-9 threes, and 10-11 from the stripe. They were led in scoring in the half by Senior guard Bria Bethea with 12 points in the half, along with James seven points all coming from the free throw line.

James became the third Racer in program history to crack the 2,000 point mark. She joins Sheila Smith (1985-1989) and Ashley N. Hayes (2005-2009) as the three to reach such a milestone.  James also became the second highest leading scorer in career points for the Racers sitting at 2,009 points.

Going into the second half, Murray State’s shooting percentage fell off. Murray State fell to 38% shooting with a 15.4% shooting percentage from three and a 63.6% success rate at the free throw line.  James led the way ending the game with 20 for the Racers, having played all forty minutes.  Head Coach Rechelle Turner was not pleased with the team’s efforts on the court.

“You can’t get outplayed, and they outplayed us in every single fashion of the game,” Turner said. They got every loose ball, every loose rebound, and made every big play. That’s what teams do that are fighting for their life to get to Evansville. All the credit goes to them. I told our players the one thing we can’t do is get outplayed for the next seven games or we’ll be sitting at home watching.”

SEMO jumped at the chance to take the lead at the beginning of the second half. The Redhawks shooting percentage went up to 64.3 % from the field, jumping up a whole 20% from the first half. Senior forward Deja Jones led the way in the second half as she went 6-6 from the field, while ending the game with 20 points. The final score was in the Redhawks favor, 80-70.

Now needing to get back in the win column in order to play in the postseason, Murray State now heads to take on a UT martin team on a three game win streak, their last win being a 100-66 win over Austin Peay. They play at 4 p.m. on Saturday Feb. 3 at the Tom and Kathleen Elam Center.