Free throw shooting helps Racers to third straight win

Junior forward Laci Hawthorne drives to the basket. (Photo courtesy of David Eaton)

Nick Kendall

Staff Writer

The Murray State women’s basketball team won its third consecutive game Tuesday night against the Arkansas State University Red Wolves 77-62.

The Racers went on a scoring outburst in the second quarter, going on a 13-0 run at one point, and eventually outscored Arkansas State 21-8.

Murray State held the lead for 37 minutes, but that didn’t stop the Red Wolves from attempting to make a comeback. They came close to closing the deficit multiple times throughout the second half, but the closest Arkansas State got was eight points. 

Free throws were a key factor in deciding the victory for the Racers. The team went 22-for-26 including a 16-for-18 mark in the fourth quarter.

Head Coach Rechelle Turner credits her team for the solid performance at the charity stripe.

“You’re going to win a lot of basketball games when you can get to the foul line that much because you’re aggressive,” Turner said. “I’m a firm believer that that is what extends games for you: when you’re able to go to the free throw line and make them.”

Sophomore guard Macey Turley finished the game with 28 points and two assists.

Turley also hit all 11 of her free throw attempts, becoming the sixth player to go 100% for the line when attempting 11 or more free throws.

Sophomore guard Lex Mayes scored a career-high 18 on 50% shooting. 

Sophomore forward Alexis Burpo was one rebound short of a double-double, but did finish the game with 10 points and four assists.

Junior forward Laci Hawthorne also came close to a double-double as she scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Solid team performances like these are something Turner expects from her young but talented team.

“It shows that we’re not one dimensional,” Turner said. “I said when this season started ‘we’re not going to have these stars, we’re just going to have a whole lot of blue collar workers that go to work and do what they need to do each night. We’ve proven that if someone’s having an off night, somebody else can pick it up.’”

Murray State returns to action at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3, against the University of Evansville, at the Ford Center.