NASHVILLE -- Murray State's three-game winning streak came to a halt on Thursday, as poor shooting plagued the Racers in a 70-53 loss to the Belmont Bruins in the Curb Center.
Freshman guard Macie Gibson exploded for 17 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the arc, adding seven rebounds, but sophomores Macey Turley (10 points, 5-for-19 shooting), Lex Mayes (5 points, 1-for-7 shooting) and Alexis Burpo (12 points, nine rebounds, 4-for-13 shooting) combined for 10-for-39 from the field … well-scouted and neutralized by Belmont's size.
"It's great to see Gibby make those shots," noted MSU coach Rechelle Turner. "She's shooting the ball extremely well, and we need her offense.
"But Lex, Alexis and Macey still have to make the adjustment. They're not going to score over 6-2, 6-4 in the paint like they used to (in high school). We made that adjustment at halftime, where we didn't go as deep (on drives) and got some better shots in the second half. But when those three don't shoot the ball well, we're in trouble obviously right now. But that's where we need to have Laci (Hawthorne) and Gibby and Raegan (Blackburn) coming off the bench to try and give us some points."
MSU (11-11, 4-7 Ohio Valley) trailed just 18-17 after the first quarter -- shooting 7-for-19 from the field and two 3-pointers from Gibson.
The second quarter was the most damaging for the Racers, as they went 3-for-17 from the field. Turley (1-for-9), Mayes (1-for-6) and Burpo (3-for-8) were 5-for-23 at halftime, where MSU trailed the Bruins 40-27.
MSU trailed 57-47 with 5:33 left in the fourth quarter after a Hawthorne rebound and Burpo putback, but the Bruins (14-8, 9-2) closed on a 13-6 run -- powered by two layups, two rebounds, one assist and one steal in the closing minutes from Belmont senior forward Ellie Harmeyer (21 points, 14 rebounds).
"The thing with this bunch is they usually don't go two games in a row where they don't shoot the ball well," Turner added. "We're going to hope that all happens and we get some good shots on Saturday (against Tennessee State)."
Belmont 70, Murray St. 53
Murray State 17 10 14 12 - 53
Belmont 18 22 13 17 - 70
RACERS - Macie Gibson 17, Alexis Burpo 12, Macey Turley 10, Laci Hawthorne 7, Lex Mayes 5, G'Torria Swinton 2.
FG: 20-61. 3PT: 6-22 (Gibson 5, Mayes). FT: 7-9. Reb: 32. PF: 10. Ast: 12. TO: 10. Stl: 5. Blk: 1.
BRUINS - Ellie Harmeyer 21, Jamilyn Kinney 13, Kiki Britzmann 7, Cam Browning 6, Maura Muensterman 6, Conley Chinn 5, Maddie Cook 4, Madison Treece 4, Maddie Wright 4.
FG: 29-57. 3PT: 7-20 (Kinney 3, Muensterman 2, Harmeyer, Chinn). FT: 5-11. Reb: 40 (Harmeyer 14). PF: 10. Ast: 11. TO: 5. Stl. 5. Blk: 7.