Racer women defend home court in conference win over Eastern Illinois

Murray State guard and Murray High alum Lex Mayes (4) tries a shot against defensive pressure from an Eastern Illinois defender Thursday at the CFSB Center.

MURRAY — The Murray State women’s basketball team shut down Eastern Illinois in the third quarter of Thursday’s game at the CFSB Center in Murray to roll to a decisive 69-52 win.

MSU shot out to a 6-0 lead in the game, but the Panthers quickly answered to set the tone for a back-and-forth first half. The two teams exchanged baskets down to the very end of the second half where a Macey Turley gave MSU a 34-30 lead at the break with layup with 39 seconds to go.

In the third, Murray State displayed their most dominant 10 minutes of defense of the entire season. The Racers limited the Panthers to just five points in the frame in 1-of-16 shooting with their other three points coming at the free throw line. Meanwhile, offensively MSU took advantage of EIU’s woes by going 7-for-13 from the floor in the third, a feat it would replicate in the fourth. The Panthers did attempt to come back in the fourth, but the Racers, who shot 53.8-percent from the floor in the second half, would not allow it and held on for the 17-point win.

The win over the Panthers is the sixth in a row at home for the Racers and the 10th in the last 12 games in the series. With three games left in the regular season, Murray State is now 12-10 on the year, 9-8 in the OVC and currently seventh in the league standings.

Katelyn Young, who had already recorded her seventh double-double of the season in the first half, led the Racers with 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting and 13 rebounds, while Macey Turley followed with 19. For Turley, her 19 points put her over the 1,200 mark in career scoring for a total of 1,209.

On Saturday, the Racers host SIUE at the CFSB Center for their final home game of the 2020-21 season. Tip-off is scheduled for at 4:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+, WNBS 97.9 FM and the Zeno Radio app.