MURRAY -- Murray State women's basketball stayed white hot on Saturday night, bringing down a 70-62 win against Indiana State at the CFSB Center.
It was 23 points from sophomore Macey Turley, 21 points from sophomore Lex Mayes, an all-around stat stacking from sophomore Alexis Burpo (eight points, nine rebounds, two steals, three assists) and the Racers' fifth-straight win of the season, matching the best stretch of hoops for MSU since 2009 and the best overall start for MSU (6-2) since the 2007-08 season.
Murray State's start from the arc wasn't great, going 0-for-10 before back-to-backs from Turley and Mayes cut the deficit to 24-21 in the middle of the second quarter.
Those two triples, however, were the start of the Racers running into halftime with a 34-29 advantage -- part of a 19-6 run that ended with eight straight points for MSU (a jumper from Turley, a cutting layup from Mayes, a steal-and-score from Burpo, and a putback from Mayes).
ISU (2-7) had climbed to within 58-54 with 5:21 left in the fourth quarter, when Mayes and Macie Gibson (seven points, five rebounds) bookended an 8-2 run with critical 3-pointers to seal it.
In all, Mayes went 4-for-13 from the arc, while the Racers went 6-for-23.
"We know we haven't been shooting well, but in practice, coach (Rechelle Turner) just continues to say 'shooters shoot,'" Turley said. "This shooter right here (Mayes) just kept shooting and knocked some big ones down.
"It was good to see her knock those down."
Added Mayes: "I don't think I've ever shot that many in a game. But … coach is really good at making us stay positive and keep shooting. I have teammates that are going to keep giving me the ball whether it's going down or not."
The Sycamores got a strong showing from forward Jamyra McChristine (15 points, 14 rebounds) and point guard Sommer Pitzer (14 points, two 3-pointers) but shot just 3-for-16 from the arc, 11-for-26 from the charity stripe and committed 20 turnovers to MSU's 15.
"Our biggest thing is if we can ever get to where we can shoot the basketball at a higher percentage, we're going to be a really tough team to beat," Turner said. "Because we're going to give defensive effort every night. Some nights we're going to have difficulty with bigs and difficulty on the glass, but for the most part, we're going to give that effort.
"But our shooting percentage? To be 6-2 and our shooting percentages be what they are. It's a Christmas miracle. We're better shooters than that."
Through eight games, MSU is shooting just 36.4% from the floor and 27.3% from the arc. But opponents are shooting 40.7% from the field and 27.3% from deep, too, and a paltry 61.5% from the free throw line.
Indiana State 16 13 19 14 - 62
Murray State 10 24 17 19 - 70
SYCAMORES - Jamyra McChristine 15, Sommer Pitzer 14, LeAndra Echi 14, Marie Hunter 8, Jasmine Elder 6, CeCe Mayo 2, Caitlin Anderson 2, Hattie Westerfield 1.
FG: 24-58. 3PT: 3-16 (Pitzer 2, Elder). FT: 11-26. Reb: 44 (McChristine 14, D: 28, O: 16). PF: 25. Ast: 12. TO: 20. St: 11. Blocks: 5. Record: 2-7.
RACERS - Macey Turley 23, Lex Mayes 21, Alexis Burpo 8, Sadie Hill 8, Macie Gibson 7, Cekeya Mack 2, Laci Hawthorne 1.
FG: 19-56. 3PT: 6-23 (Mayes 4, Gibson, Turley). FT: 26-34. Reb: 40 (D: 26, O: 14). PF: 17. Ast: 10. TO: 15. St: 8. Blocks: 4. Record: 6-2.