Racer women's shooting struggles in loss at JSU

EDWARD MARLOWE | The Sun

Murray State senior center Cekeya Mack came away with 14 points, five rebounds and a block, but the Racers fell 68-51 to Jacksonville State on Thursday in Jacksonville, Ala.

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. -- Shooters have to keep shooting.

But on Thursday night in Pete Mathews Coliseum, that cost the Murray State Racers in a 68-51 loss to Jacksonville State.

Sophomore point guard Macey Turley had a team-high 15 points, and senior forward Cekeya Mack generated 14 points on 7-for-11 from the floor with five rebounds, one block and one steal.

But Turley was hampered to 4-for-17 from the field, and the Racers (8-6, 1-2 Ohio Valley) went 4-for-21 from the arc and 34.5% overall.

MSU sophomores Lex Mayes, Macie Gibson and Alexis Burpo went a combined 0-for-9 from the arc, too, which limited the Racer offense.

And while the Gamecocks (6-8, 2-1) didn't fare much better -- just 39.7% from the field -- they managed to go 8-for-18 from deep, with junior guard Taylor Hawks (21 points, 7-for-14 shooting) and sophomore guard Yamia Johnson (9 points, 3-for-6 shooting) going a combined 7-for-8 from 3-point range.

Tack on JSU's rebounding advantage (46-to-32) and 18 second-chance points, and the Gamecocks kept the lead after the Racers held it briefly, 17-15, with 8:03 in the second quarter.

"We've got to find a way to make shots," noted third-year Racer coach Rechelle Turner. "I felt like tonight we got open shots, and ran offenses to get us into a position to make shots. But we started the game missing three wide-open threes, had chances to get back into the game with open shots with offensive rebounds and layups … backdoor cuts … and didn't make those, as well."

A Turley steal-and-score late in the third quarter cut MSU's deficit to 43-38, but Hawks answered with a 3-pointer for the eight-point advantage.

And early in the fourth quarter, MSU started 0-for-4 from the floor, and a Jayla Walker triple had JSU up 52-38.

After putting up her 19 second-half points in last Saturday's home win over Southeast Missouri State, MSU sophomore guard Sadie Hill couldn't stay on the floor -- nabbing five fouls with just one 3-pointer.

"That's part of it," Turner added. "You've got to be able to play smart defensively. Be able to keep going forward. She's one of the kids that we need to help score the basketball. But we just got ourselves in a lot of silly situations by not doing the things we're supposed to do. Making silly fouls. Things we've got to clear up. We've got to get better. Our margin of error is very small."

Murray State 13 12 13 13 - 51

Jacksonville State 15 16 16 21 - 68

RACERS - Macey Turley 15, Cekeya Mack 14, Lex Mayes 6, Sadie Hill 5, Alexis Burpo 4, Laci Hawthorne 4, Raegan Blackburn 3.

FG: 20-58. 3PT: 4-21 (Turley 2, Hill, Blackburn). FT: 7-11. Reb: 32 (Hawthorne 10). PF: 18. Ast: 5. TO: 9. St: 4. Blk: 1. Record: 8-6 (1-2).

GAMECOCKS - Taylor Hawks 19, Chloe Long 13, Yamia Johnson 9, Kiana Johnson 8, Nekiyah Johnson 6, Jayla Walker 5, Mckenna Lawrence 4, Jessie Day 4.

FG: 23-58. 3PT: 8-18 (Y. Johnson 3, Hawks 3, Lawrence, Walker). FT: 14-19. Reb: 46 (Long 12, Day 10). PF: 7. Ast: 11. TO: 10. St: 5. Blk: 7. Record: 6-8 (2-1).

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