Chico Carter Jr. scores career-best 21 points

Murray State guard Chico Carter Jr. (2) attempts a shot as Jacksonville State guard/forward Kayne Henry (11) defends the basket Thursday night. Carter scored a career-best 21 points, but it still wasn’t enough to best the Gamecocks even though the Racers almost succeeded in staging a late comeback.

MURRAY — The Murray State Racers produced an amazing late run and a career-high 21 points from Chico Carter Jr. Thursday night, but it wasn’t enough to get past the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. The 85-82 defeat was the second-straight home loss for the Racers at the CFSB Center in Murray.

MSU (5-7) fell to 2-5 in the Ohio Valley Conference, as they host the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles Saturday. It’s a doubleheader day with a 7:30 p.m. tip off following the women’s game at 4:30 p.m.

Carter came off the bench and scored 21 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the three-point line, while KJ Williams added a double-double on 19 points and 11 rebounds. Tevin Brown scored 14 points to give the Racers three players in double-figure scoring.

Trailing 81-71 with 2:25 remaining, the Racers had the ball, but the game was slipping away.

Justice Hill hit a corner three and Carter made a steal and scored at 1:36. Brown made a steal and Carter hit a three-pointer at 1:00. Amazingly, the Racers scored an 8-0 run in only 36 seconds to cut the JSU lead to 81-79. After JSU hit a pair of free throws, Carter scored with 16 seconds left to keep it a two-point game at 83-81. With 11 seconds remaining, the Racers forced the Gamecocks into their 14th turnover and Devin Gilmore was fouled after making a great steal. After Gilmore cut the lead to one point at 83-82, then Brown’s long attempt at tying the game was no good at the buzzer.

Leading by as many as 10 points in the first half, the Racers trailed JSU 38-26 at the intermission.

The Racers did take care of the ball better, committed a season-low five turnovers, and had 17 assists on their 29 field goals. However, MSU struggled again at the free throw line making 11-of-21 for 52 percent. MSU lost the rebound stat to JSU 38-26.