By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
MURRAY, Ky. – Murray State entered Saturday's game as the top team in the Ohio Valley Conference at 9-3. When Saturday's game ended, the Racers had another notch in the loss column as the Tennessee Tech women learned from its mistakes in Thursday's heartbreaking overtime defeat at Tennessee State, topping Murray 65-62.
After trailing by as many as seven points with 7:15 remaining in the contest at 52-45, Tech (6-6, 1-1 OVC) used a 11-2 run late in the fourth quarter to take a 56-54 lead with 3:46 left as Megan Clark hit back-to-back 3-pointers.
Macey Turley returned to the other end and made a jumper, tying the game at 56-all. Tech then got three buckets in succession as Anna Walker scored off of a Mackenzie Coleman steal with a feed from Jada Guinn. Guinn then picked up another dime on feed to Walker for a layup.
Guinn was there once more with the assist as she put the ball into Coleman's hands for a layup with 1:52 remaining, Tech leading by six.
Across the next 90 seconds, missed shots and turnovers kept the score from advancing, but Turley cut the Racer deficit to three, knocking down a trey with 32 seconds remaining on the clock. With fouls to give, Murray collected three fouls in succession, the third putting Guinn at the line for two. She knocked down both shots to put Tech back up by five, 64-59.
After a Turley 3-point try, Coleman was called for her fifth foul on a steal by Lex Mayes with 14 seconds left. Mayes missed the first then made the second. Nearly immediately as Walker took the inbounds pass, Turley fouled her. Walker made the first to put Tech back up 65-60, but the second was no good.
Six seconds remained and Mayes had the ball, setting up for a 3-point shot. Peyton Carter was there and deflected the shot attempt into the stands with six seconds left. Walker was whistled for a foul at one second remaining, but Katelyn Young split the tries to make it 65-61. A turnover gave the ball right back to the Racers and Carter was whistled for the foul. Hannah McKay missed the first and hit the second, then all Tech had to do was inbound the ball to run out the clock for the first conference win of the season.
Guinn ended the game with a career-high 20 points – the second consecutive game she has set a new career mark in scoring – while also pulling down 14 rebounds and issuing out seven assists. Guinn was 8-for-12 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
Walker, who had her first career start for the Golden Eagles along with Carter, ended the game in double-figure scoring as she had 13 points and six rebounds, posting an identical points-rebounds line as Coleman.
Tech finished the game shooting 43.3 percent, including 6-for-17 from beyond-the-arc. The Golden Eagles were also 7-of-8 from the charity stripe.
Young led the Racers (9-4, 1-1 OVC) with 24 points on 9-of-19 shooting, while McKay added 13 and Turley 10 on a 4-for-15 night, including 2-for-6 from 3. Murray State shot 40.7 from the field, including 5-for-18 from long-range, while shooting 9-for-14 from the free-throw line.
The Racers led the game for 25:34, despite the Golden Eagles outpacing Murray for most of the first quarter, seeing a six-point lead at one point. The Racers charged back and took a 22-21 lead before Guinn knocked in a put-back layup with just a couple of seconds remaining on the clock to lead 23-22 at the end of the quarter.
Murray State pulled ahead by six in the second quarter, though it was a four-point margin at the half and after three for the home squad. The seven-point leads at 8:05 and 7:15 in the fourth quarter were the largest for the Racers.
The Golden Eagles return home for a visit from Morehead State on Thursday, starting at 5:30 p.m. Tech then hosts Eastern Illinois on Saturday at 1 p.m., the same day as the team's 50th Anniversary Celebration at The Saltbox Inn. RSVPs are due on January 5.
For tickets to Tech basketball, call (931) 372-3940, visit the Hooper Eblen Center ticket office or visit TTUsports.com.
Photo | Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information