COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Murray State did almost everything it needed to for a pivotal win on Saturday against one of the best teams in the Ohio Valley Conference in Tennessee Tech.
But the Racers shot 13-for-39 in the final two quarters at the Eblen Center, and the Golden Eagles escaped with a 77-72 win to move to 4-0 in league play.
"I felt like we missed some easy shots that we had to make, and we turned the ball over way too much (16 turnovers)," MSU third-year coach Rechelle Turner said. "But the speed of the game was played at the pace we wanted to, our kids battled at the glass against a much bigger basketball team, and we did give ourselves a chance to win the game. And that's all you can ask for against one of the best teams in the conference on their home floor.
"But I'd love to have a couple of those possessions back, where we didn't execute and finish the play, or we turned the ball over. But never can be upset when they play as hard as they did."
MSU sophomore point guard Macey Turley scored 28 points on 9-for-22 shooting, including 5-for-9 from the arc, while fellow sophomore guard Alexis Burpo put up a career-best line of 18 points, 14 rebounds and six assists.
However, the Racers endured a tough third quarter, shooting 5-for-19 in the frame and in one stretch going 2-for-13. Tech was able to retake the lead, 47-46, before a Turley 3-pointer made it 49-47.
A Cekeya Mack rebound-and-putback had MSU within 55-53 early in the fourth quarter, when TTU's Jordan Brock (15 points) went for eight-straight points -- a jumper and back-to-back triples -- for a 63-53 advantage.
The Golden Eagles also shot 53.5% from the field after halftime, including 4-for-8 from the arc.
Turley hit 3-pointers to cut it to 71-67 and 76-72, but TTU went 4-for-6 from the stripe and forced two turnovers on late Racer possessions to close the shop.
"It doesn't get any easier on us, as we turn around and play -- what I think -- is now the best team in the conference in UT Martin," Turner added. "They (played) Belmont (Saturday) and made a pretty big statement (a 74-57 win).
"This Tennessee Tech team is well-coached and very good, but we just have our hands full. We have to stay the course, and we've got to continue to get in the boat and paddle, and do the things to get better as a basketball team. Because if we can play like this, with this effort, on the road the rest of the way, I feel like good things will happen for us."
MSU held a slim 32-28 lead at halftime behind some key factors:
• A 26-19 rebounding edge against the bigger Golden Eagles, with Burpo (eight) and junior Laci Hawthorne (six) accounting for more than half of them.
• A 20-10 edge in paint points.
• And holding Tech to 12-for-36 shooting from the field and 3-for-13 from the arc.
Tenn. Tech 77, Murray St. 72
Murray State 21 11 18 22 -72
Tennessee Tech 18 10 23 26 -77
RACERS - Macey Turley 28, Alexis Burpo 18, Cekeya Mack 10, Sadie Hill 6, Laci Hawthorne 5, Macie Gibson 3, Lex Mayes 2.
FG: 26-71. 3PT: 6-18 (Turley 5, Gibson). FT: 14-18. Reb: 50 (Burpo 14, Hawthorne 13). PF: 22. Ast: 12. TO: 16. St: 5. Blk: 6. Record: 8-7 (1-3).
GOLDEN EAGLES - Jordan Brock 15, Kesha Brady 13, Anacia Wilkinson 12, Maaliya Owens 10, Mackenzie Coleman 10, Akia Harris 6, Abby Buckner 6, Jada Guinn 4, Taylor Lamb 1.
FG: 27-64. 3PT: 7-21 (Brock 3, Owens 3, Brady). FT: 16-25. Reb: 40. PF: 12. Ast: 15. TO: 14. Stl: 7. Blk: 4. Record: 11-4 (4-0).