MURRAY — The Murray State women’s basketball team clinched its fourth consecutive OVC tournament berth under head coach Rechelle Turner with a 68-60 win over SIUE Saturday night at the CFSB Center in Murray.
The Racers zipped out to an early 6-0 lead in the game, but were soon overtaken by the Cougars who led for most of the first half. Murray State trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half and trailed by 9, 35-26, at halftime.
However, the offense the Racers had been looking for in the first half came alive in the second as they outscored SIUE, 42-25, in the second half and 27-12 in the third quarter alone. With 5:30 left in the third quarter, Prima Chellis scored for SIUE to push her team’s lead out to seven, at 47-40. That would be the last basket the Cougars would score until 2:50 left in the fourth quarter as the Racers scored the next 21 points to take a 61-47 lead. SIUE made a 9-0 run at the end of the game, but it was too little, too late as the Racers held on for the eight-point win.
Katelyn Young led Murray State on the night with 25 points and 10 rebounds for her third consecutive double-double and eighth of the season. Lex Mayes followed with 11 points, while Alexis Burpo came off the bench to score nine points, pull down five rebounds and grab a career-high six steals.
The win was the 10th of the season in the OVC, a feat which has not been accomplished since the 2008-09 championship season. In addition, with the clinching of the OVC berth, it marks the first time the Racers have gone to four-straight league tournaments since the four-year span of 2009-10 to 2012-13. Finally, Saturday’s win guaranteed the Racers a final record of .500 or better, something that has only been done twice since the 2008-09 season.