Belmont women end Murray State’s season

The Murray State women battled until the very end Wednesday afternoon at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind., but it was not enough as the Racers’ season ended with an 88-64 loss to regular season champion Belmont.

Every time MSU (11-19) would find its rhythm offensively and cut the deficit down to a possession or two in the second half, the Bruins (29-3) would respond with a big 3-pointer or scoring run to extend their lead. Belmont made 15 3-pointers in the contest, including 10 in the second half alone and shooting 55.6 percent from deep in the last two periods.

Belmont was able to end the third period on a 12-4 run after the Racers had cut it to 48-44 with 2:21 to go in the period and led 58-48 going into the fourth. To begin the fourth, the Bruins went on a 16-6 run and built the lead up to 74-54 with just 6:55 left to play and were able to control the rest of the contest from there.

The first half saw shooting struggles from both teams as MSU shot 37 percent from the floor in the first two quarters while Belmont shot 38.2 percent and led 32-25 at the break. In the third, the Racers made their best run of the game, cutting the deficit to just one, twice, the last coming at 43-42 with 3:44 to play before Belmont went on its run later in the period.

Bria Bethea closed her Racer career-high with a game-high 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the floor and sparked the MSU offense all day. Ke’Shunan James added 17 points and 11 rebounds and ends her illustrious MSU career with another double-double and as the second-leading scorer in program history with 2,191 points. Abria Gulledge chipped in with 15 points in the loss.

For the game, the Racers ended up shooting 40.3 percent from the field and went just 3-for-19 from 3-point range while the Bruins shot an even 50 percent and shot 47 percent on 3-pointers. Belmont also got a big advantage on the glass, out-rebounding the Racers by 16 and recording 23 assists to MSU’s seven.

MSU closes its season 11-19 overall after making its first trip to the OVC Tournament since 2016.

From: MSU Media Relations

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