Murray State holds off Arkansas State women

MURRAY, Ky. – For the fourth time in six games, three players scored in double figures for Arkansas State, but a pair of late runs by Murray State lifted the Racers to a 77-62 win against A-State on Tuesday night at the CFSB Center.

Peyton Martin led the Red Wolves (1-5) with a season-high 23 points, while the Racers (4-2) saw four players in double-digit scoring led by Macey Turley’s 28 points (7-of-15 shooting; 11-of-11 at the free-throw line). Martin’s season-best performance came on 9-of-15 shooting to go along with 5-of-9 at the free-throw line. The junior also grabbed five rebounds in her 33 minutes of action.

Jireh Washington added 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting with five rebounds and four assists. Jada Ford totaled 10 points on the night, while Morgan Wallace scored six and hauled in a game-high 10 rebounds. A-State shot 37.9 percent as a squad from the field and 60.9 percent from the free-throw line (14-of-23).

In addition to Turley’s 28 points, the Racers got 18 points from Lex Mayes. Laci Hawthorne added 12 points while Alexis Burpo chipped in 10 points. As a team, MSU shot 42.1 %, 33.3% from three-point range. At the charity stripe, the Racers were nearly perfect, going 22-of-26 at the line (84.6%).

The Racers opened the night on a 5-0 run and held as much as an 8-2 lead early. Martin scored A-State’s first four points before Shameka Tubbs found Wallace on a backdoor cut to make it a 9-8 MSU lead. On the next possession, Washington drove to the bucket to give the Red Wolves a 10-9 lead into the first-quarter media timeout.

MSU came out of the quick break with a 6-0 run to lead 15-10, but Ford drilled a three with 2:05 to make it a one-score game at 15-13. A Jentri Worley layup put the Racers up by four once again, but a Martin three-point play with three seconds left cut it to 17-16 after one quarter.

Trinitee Jackson converted 1-of-2 at the line to open the second, but the Racers went on another 5-0 run to retake a 22-17 lead. A-State battled back with a 5-0 run of its own, with a Martin 10-footer followed by a trey by Washington at the top of the key to tie things up at 22 with five to go in the half.

The Racers then went on a 14-2 run to finish the half, with the lone A-State score during that stretch a bucket off the glass by Jackson with just under 30 seconds to go. Murray State led 38-24 at the break after outscoring the Red Wolves 21-8 in the second quarter.

Turley drilled a pair of free throws to open the half before Maggie Mahan, who started the second half for the Red Wolves, knocked down a three with 7:58 to go to make it 40-27. The Racers then responded on their next possession with a three by Mayes.

The Racers stretched their lead out to as much as 19 in the third before A-State closed the quarter on a 7-2 run to make it a 54-40 game with 10 to go. All seven points during that stretch came at the charity stripe, including Johnna Jones netting the first two points of her A-State career.

MSU’s Macie Gibson opened the fourth stanza with a layup to make it a 16-point lead, but the Red Wolves found some momentum on a floater by Washington followed by a fastbreak score by Martin to force a Murray State timeout with 8:35 to go.

Martin once again scored with under 7 to go with a short jumper to make it a 10-point game at 56-46 before Turley converted a pair of free throws to break up the 8-0 run. After Wallace found the rim, the Racers went on a 7-0 run to extend their lead out to 15. Another bucket by Martin broke up the run with 2:53 left to make it 65-52.

With 53 seconds to go, Washington hit a driving layup to make it a 10-point game at 70-60. However, five straight at the free-throw line by the Racers put the game out of reach at 75-60 with under 40 seconds left.

The Red Wolves close out the month of November, and their four-game road stretch, on Saturday traveling to San Diego to face San Diego State at 3 p.m. CT.

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