By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Lady Colonels (17-10,11-5 OVC) will try to bounce back from two disappointing losses last week that dropped them down to the No. 5 seed and a 1 p.m. first round matchup with Murray State (16-12, 8-8 OVC) in today’s OVC Tournament at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium.
The winner will face No. 4 seed UT Martin at 1 p.m. on Thursday.
EKU entered last week in sole possession of first place in the OVC East, but losses at Tennessee Tech and Tennessee State left them in a three-way tie for third place with Belmont and UT Martin.
The tie-breakers pushed the Lady Colonels to the No. 5 seed and cost them a first-round bye in the tournament.
The Lady Racers have had their own struggles at the end of the regular season. MSU enters the matchup having lost five of its past six games, including a 61-58 home loss Saturday to SEMO.
The Lady Colonels defeated the Lady Racers 69-49 at Murray on New Year’s Eve in the conference opener for both teams.
Murray State and EKU have met in postseason play five times with the Lady Racers winning three of those. The last tournament matchup between the teams was in 2007.
EKU leads the all-time series with Murray State 53-29.
The Lady Racers are led by senior Mariah Robinson at 16.5 points per game and Erika Sisk who averages 13.8 points per game.
Marie Carpenter leads the Lady Colonels in scoring, averaging 13.8 points per game and has scored in double figures in her past nine games, including 26 points and a career-high six three pointers Saturday at Tennessee State.
Senior Alex Jones, who was named to the All-OVC Second-Team Monday, enters the game averaging 9.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.
Jones, the OVC rebounding leader, has averaged 12.3 rebounds against conference opponents and has had double-digit rebounds in 11 straight games.
Jones needs just nine more rebounds to break the EKU career rebounding record of 1,026.
Senior Brittany Coles averages 10.5 points per game and senior Raechelle Gray enters the game with the conference’s third leading assists per game average at 4.4. She also is fourth in the OVC in steal per game, averaging 2.1.