The eighth-seeded Murray State women’s basketball team begins its quest for the first Missouri Valley Conference championship in program history Thursday when it opens play at the 2023 Hoops In The Heartland MVC Women’s Basketball Championship against ninth-seeded Evansville at 12 p.m. at the Vibrant Arena at the MARK in Moline, Illinois on ESPN+.
Murray State just could not get past a pesky UIC squad Saturday, falling 65-58, in Chicago. Katelyn Young led the Racers with 21 points in the game, while Briley Pena followed with a career-high 16.
Murray State and Evansville will meet for the 42nd time Thursday, with the Racers holding a 25-16 advantage. Thursday will be the first ever meeting between the Purple Aces and the Racers at a neutral site.
Evansville finished the regular season at 11-18 overall and 6-14 in Missouri Valley Conference play. The Purple Aces dropped their regular season finale Saturday at home against Bradley, 61-51.
Abby Feit currently leads the Purple Aces in scoring with 15.6 points per game, while Myia Clark follows at 11.4. Feit leads Evansville on the boards as well with 7.6 rebounds per game, while Barbora Tomancova follows at 6.5.
Evansville currently averages 63.4 points per game on 37.7% shooting with 34.9 rebounds per game. Meanwhile, the Purple Aces’ opponents are averaging 72.7 points per game on 44.3% shooting with 37.9 rebounds per game.
A win Thursday would allow the Racers to advance to the quarterfinals in their first Hoops In The Heartland Appearance.
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