MOREHEAD, Ky. – Senior guard Almesha Jones nailed a three-pointer with two seconds remaining to propel the Morehead State women’s basketball team to a 64-63 victory over Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference opener for both teams Saturday at Johnson Arena.
Jones hit just the one trey all night, but it helped the Eagles improve to 5-9 overall and 1-0 in the OVC. Morehead State is now 8-2 in league openers in the last 10 seasons. The Racers fell to 5-9 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
Morehead State ended Murray State’s three-game winning streak in the series and upped its mark to 44-37 all-time against the Racers.
Murray State led 63-56 with 3:24 left in the contest but never scored again. Freshman forward Eriel McKee hit a three-pointer with 1:59 left, sophomore forward Shay Steele converted a layup at the 1:13 mark, and Jones took a pass from senior guard Maiki Viela for the game-winning shot.
Steele finished with a game-best 20 points, while McKee and Viela registered 12 each. Jones had nine points and a game-high eight assists in 40 minutes. Steele tied McKee for team-high rebounding honors with eight.
Murray State was led by freshman Ke’Shunan James with 13 points. Bianca Babic nailed four triples for 12 points, and Keonia Kirby grabbed a game-best 11 rebounds. The Racers out-rebounded the Eagles 48-36.
The hosts trailed 17-14 with 9:11 left in the first half but used a 10-2 run to re-gain the advantage. The Eagles led 25-24 at the break.
Steele scored nine points in the first seven minutes of the final half as Morehead State built its largest lead of the half, 41-36. Murray State outscored the host squad 21-10 over the next seven minutes though to build a 57-51 cushion.
Morehead State shot 44 percent (28-of-63) on the night and held Murray State to 35 percent (23-of-66). The Racers were 7-of-27 from three-point range.