Murray State women return to winning ways at The Bank

Murray State player and Murray High alum Alexis Burpo (white uniform) fights to maintain control of the ball Monday afternoon against the defensive pressure of Morehead State’s Tomiyah Alford at the CFSB Center.

MURRAY — The Murray State women’s basketball team was able to overcome a late rally by a hot three-point shooting Morehead State team to beat the Eagles, 69-62, Monday night at the CFSB Center in Murray.

For a team that entered Monday’s contest shooting just 20.0-percent from three-point range, Morehead State, at times, could not miss from long range, going 11-for-26 including an impressive 8-for-17 from Tyler Moore who finished the night with a game-high 24 points. On the other end, the Racers were uncharacteristically cold from behind the arc for the second consecutive game. Heading into Saturday’s game at SIUE, MSU was shooting 33.6-percent from three-point range, however the Racers’ have shot just 13.1-percent from three over the past two games after a 2-for-24 performance Saturday and a 3-for-14 clip Monday.

With their three not falling, the Racers turned to two other things that they have done very well at this season: pounding the paint and crashing the boards. After getting out-rebounded for the first time this season at SIUE, the Racers were ferocious on the glass Monday, pulling down 10 more boards than Morehead State, 43-33. In the paint, the Racers were able to score 34 of their 69 points in the game, while limiting Morehead State to just 14.

Having led by as many as nine in the second half, Murray State allowed Morehead State to continually chip away at its lead until Moore sank a three with 4:53 to play to give the Eagles their first lead since the first quarter. The Racers, however, responded quickly by tying the game on a pair of Manna Mensah free throws with 4:33 to go, followed by a three-pointer from Lex Mayes with 3:57 left to give her team a lead it would never relinquish.

Macey Turley led MSU in the game with 17 points and a season-high eight assists, while Lacey Hawthorne notched her first double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 boards. The senior has been a terror on the glass over the past two games, pulling down 12 rebounds in each contest. Young paired her career-best 14 rebounds with eight points, two blocks, an assist and a steal on the night, while Manna Mensah finished with 11 points, a rebound and an assist.

 The Racers (5-4, 2-2 OVC) will look to put together two in a row for the second time this season Thursday when they travel to Cape Girardeau to take one Southeast Missouri at the Show-Me Center at 5 p.m.

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