MURRAY, Ky. – Murray State used a 14-0 run in the first quarter and held on Saturday for an 81-75 victory over SIUE in Ohio Valley Conference women's basketball at the CFSB Center.
SIUE, 10-13 overall, was down by 13 points in the first quarter and pushed back to take a lead in the fourth quarter, but 11 three-pointers by Murray State and a 24-of-32 effort from the free throw line from the Racers proved to be the difference.
Micah Jones matched her season best with 22 points for the Cougars, shooting 9 of 16 from the field. Riana Everidge added a season high with 15 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Christen King pumped in 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field.
SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher praised Jones, a senior redshirt from Cowden, Illinois.
"Micah is a doing a good job of getting position and just taking what the defense is giving her," she said.
Murray State improved to 9-14 overall behind Evelyn Adebayo's 27 points and 16 rebounds. Macey Turley added 20 points with half of her scoring coming from a perfect night on the free throw line.
SIUE led 6-5 three minutes into the game on a layup by Sydney Bauman. Murray State then scored 14 straight points, forcing the Cougars to play catch-up for a sizeable part of the game.
The lead closed to five at one point in the second quarter only to have seven Murray State three-pointers in the first half push the lead back to 41-31 by halftime.
"I have to do a better job of getting us ready to start the game," said Buscher. "We are just giving up a big lead to start and not defending the three-point line well enough."
Jones put SIUE within two points three minutes into the third period with a bucket in the paint, but the Cougars remained behind by five after three periods.
SIUE regained the lead three minutes into the fourth period. Everidge grabbed an offensive rebound and ventured beyond the arc. Everidge hit a three-pointer to put the Cougars ahead 63-62.
Cekeya Mack answered for the Racers on the next possession with a layup that put Murray State ahead for good. The Racers would hit 7 of 8 free throws in the final 60 seconds to seal the victory.
SIUE now returns home to the Vadalabene Center for a 7:30 p.m. Thursday against Eastern Illinois.