NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Colonels never trailed in a contest that the Eastern Kentucky University Lady Colonels advanced to the OVC Finals in a 63-52 win over Murray State University on Friday afternoon.
With the win, Head Coach Chrissy Roberts earned her 100th career win on Friday becoming the program’s second all-time winningest coach. Roberts is currently third among active coaches in the OVC and 23rd all-time in the league.
The Colonels led the duration of the contest, after jumping out to an 11-2 lead in the opening minutes. EKU hit on five of its first seven attempts from the field, as Murray netted seven straight points. However, the EKU offense stalled after Murray was whistled for her second foul with 5:34 left to play in the opening period.
Murray State (13-16) raced back into the game at the end of the 1st quarter to trail 15-12. The Racers kept the EKU lead to single digits, as the Colonels led 26-21 at the halftime.
The second half would be the Shameekia Murray show. The senior exploded for 15 second half points, leading the Colonels to the win with 24 total points.
EKU opened the third with five unanswered to extend its lead to 11 before a 6-0 run from the Racers quickly erased the Colonels’ lead.
Junior Alexus Cooper nailed a trey from deep, before Murray tallied seven straight points for the Colonels—yet again—pushing their lead back to 11 and all but punching their ticket to finals.
Murray State’s 52 points marked the second lowest scoring affair of the season for the Racers.
With Friday’s win EKU will play Belmont University (23-8) on Saturday in the OVC Tournament Championship game at 1 p.m. ET. Belmont and EKU have never met in an OVC Tournament contest. The Bruins won the two regular season meetings over the Colonels.
The last time EKU (18-11) went to the OVC finals they faced Southeast Missouri State in the 2005. The Colonels won that game 84-73 in double overtime. EKU has reached the OVC Tournament championship game four times, winning the league tournament title in 1997 and 2005.
Saturday’s championship game will be streamed live on ESPN 3 and the winner earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.