Tough Task Awaits Racers At Kentucky

Rechelle Turner
Dave Winder-Murray State Athletics

Women's Basketball | 12/19/2018 1:03:00 AM

Date (Time): Dec. 22 (12 p.m. ET)
Opponent: #18 Kentucky
Site (Venue): Lexington, Ky. (Memorial Coliseum)
Audio: WNBS 1340 AM (PxP: Jeremy Rose)
TV/Web: SEC Network+
Live Stats:
Twitter In Game: @RacersWBB
MSU Record (Streak): 4-5 (Lost 1)
UK Record (Streak): 11-1 (Won 2)
All-Time Series vs. UK (Streak): UK leads 16-2 (Lost 14)
All-Time Series in Lexington (Streak): UK leads 6-1 (Lost 6)
First Meeting: L 38-43 (Feb. 12, 1972, Lexington, Ky.)
Last Meeting: L 59-91 (Nov. 25, 2010, Hattiesburg, Miss.)
Last Five vs. SIU: 0-5 (LLLLL)
MSU Next Game: Dec. 28 at No. 9 Tennessee
MSU Next Home Game: Jan. 3 vs. Morehead St.

The Game
The Murray State women's basketball team will travel to Kentucky Friday for a matchup with the 18th-ranked Wildcats at Noon Eastern.

Last Time Out
The Murray State women's basketball team scored 23 fourth-quarter points Tuesday against Southern Illinois, but it wasn't enough to overcome a seven-point third quarter, as the Racers fell, 65-59, to the Salukis at the CFSB Center in Murray. The Racers started hot, going 7-for-12 from the floor in the opening quarter to take an 18-10 lead at the end of the first. Murray State cooled down in the second, going just 3-for-10, but still led by two at the half. However, in the third, the Racers would not score until 3:09 left in the stanza which resulted in them being outscored 23-7 in the stanza and trailing 50-36 after three. In the fourth, the Racers once again found their stroke, cutting the lead to just four with 1:23 left. However, they would never get any closer, falling 65-59. Murray State finished the game shooting 40.4 percent from the floor and 15-for-17 at the free throw line. The Racers also outrebounded the Salukis, 33-27, however, MSU committed 20 turnovers in the game with just seven assists, while SIU dished out 15 assists with only 13 turnovers. Evelyn Adebayo once again led MSU in both points and rebounds with 17 and 8, respectively. Brianna Crane followed with 13, while Janika Griffith-Wallace followed at 11.

The Kentucky Series
Friday marks the first meeting between the two teams since 2010 and the first in Lexington since 1992. The Wildcats have won each of the last 14 meetings in the series and 16 of the 18 overall. The Racers have defeated Kentucky just twice, in 1972 and 1973, with both coming in Lexington.

Scouting The Wildcats
The 18th-ranked Wildcats had little trouble with Western Carolina Tuesday, defeating the Catamounts, 99-39. With the win, UK is now 11-1 on the season with its lone loss coming by just five points on the roads at the hands of then fifth-ranked Louisville. The Wildcats are currently averaging 80.4 points per game, while holding opponents to just 55.9. Rhyne Howard currently leads the 'Cats offensively with 17.9 points per game to go along with a team-high 7.0 rebounds in addition to sporting one of the best 3-point percentages in the nation at 46.9 percent (29-62). Maci Morris follows Howard at 16.3 points, while Taylor Murray adds an additional 14.5 per game.

A Win Tuesday Would...
Give MSU its first win over an SEC team since 1980, when the Racers defeated Vanderbilt. Currently, MSU is 6-35 against the Southeastern Conference.

Getting It Done
Despite using just two bench players Tuesday against SIU, the Racer reserves still outscored their SIU counterparts 18-9, despite the Salukis using three more players. Brianna Crane dumped in 13 points, while Alexis Burpo added six.

The Key
One thing has separated the Racer wins from losses this season on the stat sheet and that is field-goal percentage. MSU is 4-0 when outshooting their opponents and 0-5 when being outshot.

OK, What's Next?
The Racers will take six days off for the holidays before returning to action against the legendary Tennessee Lady Vols Dec. 28 in Knoxville.

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