Story by Blake Sandlin
Four Racers landed in double figures on Thursday, Dec. 13, as Murray State’s women’s basketball team served Bethel University an 86-50.
Sophomore guard Janika Griffith-Wallace and junior forward Evelyn Adebayo each notched a double-double against the Wildcats, as the Racers shook off an ugly first quarter that ended 9-3 to cruise to an easy win. Head Coach Rechelle Turner said the win served as a valuable confidence-booster following a blowout loss to the University of Illinois game on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
“It was nice to get back into the W-column,” Turner said. “We’ve had a rough last three games, some of it I think allowed us to lose some confidence. When you have a young basketball team and things aren’t going well and shots aren’t going in, sometimes we tend to lose a little confidence.”
The Racers now sit even at 4-4 with Southern Illinois University-Carbondale awaiting them on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
After the meager first-quarter showing that saw the Racers shoot 4-for-14 and the Wildcats shoot 0-for-15, Murray State came to its senses in the second quarter, shooting 11-for-17 from the field in the quarter to balloon the lead to 34-16 at the half.
The second half spelled more of the same, as Adebayo scored eight points to further pad the Racer lead. Adebayo ended her night with 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead all scorers on the night, and contributed heavily to the Racers’ 13-for-19 third quarter.
While Murray State did its part offensively, it also picked up the slack on the defensive end. Bethel forward Myah Taylor, who transferred from UT Martin and leads the Wildcats with 21.9 ppg, was held to an inefficient night with 17 points on 4-for-22 shooting.
In the end, the Racers shook off 16 turnovers and rode Griffith-Wallace’s 10 points, junior forward Cekaya Mack’s 12 points and freshman guard Macey Turley’s 15 points to claim the win. Turley’s hit three 3-pointers on the night, the only Racer to knock down a triple on Thursday. Despite the recent struggles from the line, Griffith-Wallace believes their woes will end soon.
“I personally start we’re going to start making them soon,” Griffith-Wallace said. “Our coach tells us to keep shooting the ball regardless of it it goes in; have confidence shooting the ball. So I think maybe our next game it’ll start falling for us, but if not, we’ll get it in.
The Racers will now turn to the Salukis on Tuesday as they hope to move above .500 as they prepare to embark on a grueling non-conference slate this month.
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