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Free throw advantage lifts Murray State over Tech, 82-72

Golden Eagles returning to Eblen Center for four-game homestand

MURRAY, Ky. – The Tennessee Tech women’s basketball team might start taking personal fouls…personally.

For the third consecutive road game, Tech was whistled for twice as many fouls as the home team and Murray State took advantage with a 21-point edge at the free throw line on the way to an 82-72 Ohio Valley Conference victory Saturday night.

In their last three road games at Eastern Illinois, UT Martin and Murray State, Tech has been called for 90 total fouls while the three home teams have been called for 42 fouls. Tech has shot 56 free throws in those three games and the three home teams have taken 112 shots at the charity stripe.

On Saturday night, Murray was 37-for-50 at the charity line while Tech was 16-for-25. The Golden Eagles were called for 37 fouls and MSU for 18.

Despite the overwhelming odds against them, the young Golden Eagle squad continued to fight to the end, owning a lead with less than six minutes to play before falling to 7-10 overall and2-5 in OVC play.

Freshman Kylie Cook topped Tech in scoring before fouling out, shooting 5-for-8 from the field on the way to 15 points. Freshman Katy Cooke scored a career-best 12 points and dished out five assists before taking a seat with five fouls. Sophomore Tacarra Hayes, Tech’s leading scorer this season, also earned an early exit with five fouls after scoring seven points.

Freshman Kellie Cook added nine points and nine rebounds and sophomore Rachel Glidden scored nine and grabbed six rebounds. Freshman Tiarra Hopper scored eight and sophomore Simone Rutledge contributed seven points, seven rebounds and six assists.

MSU had three players in double figures, led by Rachel Isom with 26 and Mariah Robinson with 22. Isom was 10-for-12 at the line and Robinson was 10-for-13. Mallory Luckett had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, along with seven assists. Jasmyne Thornton added eight points and seven rebounds.

The Golden Eagles led most of the first half, building a margin of eight points before a late MSU 10-3 run brought the Lady Racers into a 28-28 tie with 5:29 to play. The Racers took a 40-37 lead into halftime.

Tech kept things close in the second half, never trailing by more than five before Glidden and Rutledge took turns scoring in an 8-2 Golden Eagle run to push the Golden Eagles ahead, 55-52, with 10:10 remaining.

A layup by Rutledge made it a 61-58 Tech lead, but that’s the last time the visitors would be on top. An 11-2 Racer run gave Murray State the lead and the home team hit enough free throws down the stretch to hold on for the 10-point final.

Coach Sytia Messer’s squad returns home to Eblen Center this week to open a four-game homestand. It begins Thursday night with a 5:30 p.m. contest against Austin Peay. Tickets are on sale at the Athletic Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940.