Murray State women rally past Kennesaw State


WPSD Sports

The Murray State women’s basketball battled back from an 11-point first half deficit in Tuesday’s game against Kennesaw State  to take its own 11-point lead with just over three minutes to go in the contest. The Racer were then able to hold off a late surge by the Owls to pick up the 72-66 win, their second in a row.
The Racers (4-2) found themselves in an early hole as the Owls (1-5) crashed the boards to start the half and enjoyed a 13-1 rebounding advantage to begin the game. With 11:09 remaining in the opening stanza, Kennesaw State led by 11 points and looked to be in the driver’s seat. 
From there, the Racers began to slowly chip away at the lead and never allowed it to return to double-digits. Murray State went on to close out the half on a 10-5 run and trailed by just one, 36-35, at the break.
In the second half, Murray State tied the game four times in the first 10 minutes but was never able to take the lead. However, with 9:15 left in the game, Keiona Kirby drove to the basket for two of her team-high 22 points to give the Racers their first lead of the night, one they would never relinquish.
The Owls did not go quietly as they whittled down an 11-point MSU lead with 3:31 remaining to only two with just over a minute to play. With the game on the line, the Racers were able to stay calm under pressure and make seven of eight free throws in the game’s final 64 seconds to hold on for the six-point win.
Shooting wise it was another solid performance by the Racers, as they shot 42.9 percent from floor, despite making a season-low five 3-pointers and taking a season-low 14 3-point attempts. Murray State also found good news in the turnover column, as it committed just nine in the game, after entering the contest averaging 14.0
Taylor Porter followed Kirby’s 22 with 14 points of her own, while Janssen Starks added 10. Bianca Babic led Murray State in rebounds in the contest with eight with Jessica Winfrey and Netanya Jackson adding an additional five each. Deandrea Sawyer led Kennesaw with a game-high 24 points, while Kristina Wells notched the game’s only double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Racers will take three days off for the Thanksgiving holiday before returning to action later this week in the Nashville. Murray State will make its first of three trips to Music City, U.S.A., the season when it takes on regional foe Lipscomb Saturday at 4 p.m. 

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