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November 7, 2019 | Vol. 94, No. 10

L L A B T E K e S d BA Insi B A T


GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION 2019 Read more about the controversy surrounding the election inside. Colton Colglazier/The News

News Opinion Sports Features

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Controversy surrounds gubernatorial election

Voter suppression takes toll on polls

Racers earn No. 2 seat in OVC Tourney

Student to earn degree in France

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November 7, 2019

Too close to call

Controversy surrounds gubernatorial election Daniella Tebib News Editor Polls closed at 6 p.m. on Nov. 5 from the Eastern Time Zone to the Central Time Zone in Kentucky, but the election results are still not official yet. Governor- elect Andy Beshear secured the position with 709,577 votes, according to unofficial results from the Kentucky State Board of Elections. However, incumbent candidate Matt Bevin followed close behind with 704,388 votes and Libertarian candidate John Hicks received 28,245 votes. More than 1.4 million voters showed up to the polls, resulting in a higher voter turnout than expected. According to unofficial results from the state’s secretary office, voter turnout was over 42 percent, compared to 30.7 percent of voters who participated in the 2015 gubernatorial election. Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes predicted only a 31 percent turnout ahead of this year’s election. After the polls closed and votes were tallied, Beshear greeted an enthusiastic crowd in Louisville, Kentucky, for his acceptance speech. “I haven’t had an opportunity yet to speak to Gov. Bevin,” Beshear said. “But, my expectation is that he will honor the election that was held tonight and that he will help us make this transition. I’ll tell you what, we will be ready for that first day in office and I look forward to it.” However, incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin refused to concede on election night. According to state law, there are three options for Bevin at this point in challenging the results. The first option is to request a recanvass, in which county clerks would review machine totals in each of Kentucky’s 120 counties including absentee votes and check the printouts to ensure accuracy when they were sent to the State Board of Elections. The next option is an official recount of each of the more than 1.4 million votes that were cast. The last time there was a recanvass in the state’s gubernatorial race was the 1899 election of Democrat William Goebel as governor, who was assassinated just three days

later, according to www. Bevin could then file a written request to contest the election, which would have to happen within 30 days of the State Board of Elections certifying the results. This is scheduled to occur on Nov. 25. Bevin exercised his right to ask the secretary of state for a recanvass, which is scheduled for Nov. 14 at 9 a.m. “As the Republican candidate for Kentucky Governor in the November 5, 2019 election, this is to request, pursuant to KRS 117.305(1), a check and recanvass of the voting machines and absentee ballots of all precincts in Kentucky involving my race for Governor,” according to the letter Bevin sent Grimes. Drew Seib, interim chair and associate professor of political science, estimates the recanvass should take about a day. Bevin’s campaign manager, David Paine, cited an irregularity as his reasoning for requesting a recanvass. “The people of Kentucky deserve a fair and honest election,” Paine said. “With reports of irregularities, we are exercising the right to ensure that every lawful vote was counted.” Seib said an irregularity can be defined as anything from a precinct running out of ballots, staying open later than 6 p.m. or last-minute ballots showing up. For example, Paul Foote, associate professor of political science, said an election irregularity occurred in the Virginia election. “One voter’s f lawed attempt to be counted in Newport News in December helped decide a pivotal Virginia House election and political control of the chamber,” Foote said. “The bubbles for both candidates, David Yancey and Shelly Simonds, were filled in, but Simonds’ had a slash through it. A court had to decide the voter’s intent, which tied the race and set up the infamous name drawing out of the bowl. But, had the voter simply asked for another ballot after their mistake, the whole thing could have been avoided.” Should Bevin decide to challenge the results from the recanvass, he would have to ask a circuit court judge to order a recount.

Governor-elect Andy Beshear gave his acceptance speech in Louisville, Kentucky on Nov. 5.

However, Seib said he does not believe a recount is necessary. “There are several thousand votes that separate the two candidates,” Seib said. “It is very unlikely that a recount will change those results much, and I cannot see it changing the outcome of this election.” Seib said almost every state has a procedure to permit recounts and 20 have a process where a recount is automatic if the vote difference falls within a certain percent. However, Kentucky does not have any procedures listed that require an automatic recount. The recount process, if initiated, must be completed by Dec. 10, which is when the next governor will take the oath of office. This process is paid for by the candidate, not the state. State Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said the decision could also come down to the Republican-controlled state legislature should Bevin contest the recount results. “There’s less than onehalf of 1 percent as I understand, separating the governor and the attorney general,” Stivers said. “We will follow the letter of the law and what various processes determine.”

Photo courtesy of KET

Brock Kirk/The News The Calloway County Republican Party held an election party on Nov. 5.

Seib said it is highly unlikely and a major political risk to allow the legislature to make the decision. However, should it occur, Seib said the process begins with the formation of a board with three members from the Senate and eight from the House to hear a complaint against the election. The members would then decide if there is merit to the complaint and if it was egregious enough to conclude an election never really happened. If this decision is reached, a new election would be called. While Beshear unofficially won the seat of governor, the rest of those elected in the state races on Nov. 5 were members of the Republican party. Following the recanvass and any other procedures to ensure the fairness of the election, if Beshear is

still confirmed as the governor, James Clinger, associate professor of political science, predicts he may run into difficulties. “Gov. Beshear will have a hard time getting his agenda through the General Assembly,” Clinger said. “He wants expanded gaming, but that does not seem likely to pass. He may veto a number of bills, but those can be overridden. Kentucky’s constitution allows a veto to be overridden by a simple majority of those elected in each chamber. There is no two-thirds requirement as in Congress. Beshear may try to get around the legislature with executive orders, but that is difficult when the legislature is not supportive.” The News will continue to follow the controversy surrounding the election in the coming weeks.


November 7, 2019


Beshear discusses college affordability and pensions Megan Reynolds Editor-in-Chief Breanna Harris Contributing Writer Emily Shepherd Contributing Writer

College affordability In their recent gubernatorial campaigns, both Gov. Matt Bevin and Governor-elect Andy Beshear highlighted their concerns over college affordability in Kentucky. College affordability was a hot topic in the gubernatorial election, and rightfully so, as Kentucky was recently ranked eighth worst in the nation, according to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. After Murray State’s recent 2.8 percent increase in tuition cost, students and their families are finding themselves faced with mounting debt. “For far too many Kentuckians, a college education is financially out of reach,” according to Andy Beshear’s campaign website. “And crushing student loans are burying many of those who do go to college under a mountain of debt.” Beshear said he fought against for-profit colleges and secured $5 million in restitution or debt relief for students as attorney general. “And I stopped Matt Bevin when he tried to illegally cut the budgets of our universities and community colleges,” Beshear said. Kentucky is one of 19 states to cut funding for higher education by more than 20 percent per student between 2008 and 2018, according to the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy website. Between 2008 and 2018, lawmakers cut their per-student spending by 25.6 percent. To contextualize, that’s $2,792 less. This decline nearly doubles the national average of 13 percent, or $1,220. “It is very important, as students, that college is affordable for everyone,” Jacqueline Stephenson, a senior from St. Louis, Missouri, said. “I know quite a few of my friends who have dropped out of college because it has become so expensive.” High tuition rates can discourage students from enrolling in college for fear of the inability to pay for their degree. Debt accumulation from those tuition rates is also a deterrent. Increases in tuition rates also cut down on campus diversity. Students of color, students from low-income households and more would lose representation on campus, according to the KCEP. “There have been so many cases where I had to consider whether or not I could continue as a student at Murray State because I receive out-of-state tuition that makes it more expensive to attend,” Janae Pembrook Ward, a junior from St. Louis, Missouri, said. The deep cuts to public higher education funding over the last

decade along with the rising pension costs for colleges and universities has shifted more of the costs to students. “Without student loans, I would not be able to afford to even go to college,” Tameia Brown, a senior from Radcliff, Kentucky, said. “It is just crazy how much tuition has increased since I came here as a freshman almost four years ago.” Beshear told a crowd of supporters at a last-minute campaign stop at the Higgins House in Murray the day before the election that public education, including higher education, wouldn’t last with four more years of Bevin at helm. “The future of higher education is on the line tomorrow because Murray State and our other universities don’t survive another four years under Matt Bevin,” Beshear said.

Pensions Since 2009, Murray State’s contribution to the Kentucky Employee Retirement System has jumped 73 percent. “To put this new rate of 83.43 percent in perspective, Murray State was paying a KERS pension rate of 10.01 percent in 2009,” President Bob Jackson said. The rising pension rates led to an increase in educators taking to the polls on Election Day. Not only was Kentucky ranked as one of the worst states in terms of college affordability, but according to 24/7 Wall St., the Commonwealth was ranked as having the worst-managed pension fund in the nation. To rank the pension funds, the financial news website reviewed the average pension funding ratio, which is the market value of a pension fund as a percentage of the total benefits owed to current or retired public employees from 2017. “As pension costs rise, it places a great deal of strain on the budget and crowds out funding for other public services like education, public safety and infrastructure,” Andrew Morelock, associate professor of political science, said. “For universities like Murray State, these additional costs must be addressed somehow, possibly leading to tuition increases for students.” Morelock said the pension crisis is an intricate problem that has distinct differences between the pension plans of university professors and K-12 teachers. “Each of those plans is different, and each has different costs, different benefit structure,” Morelock said. “The level of underfunding is different, all of them are underfunded. It’s just that some of them are incredibly underfunded. There is a plan for teachers, for state police, for members of the state judiciary, one for the state legislatures, for hazardous and nonhazardous work… Again, it gets complicated.” Governor-elect Andy Beshear has a history of fighting for pensions as attorney general. In 2018, Beshear went to the Supreme Court during a revision of the pension plan and argued

Daniella Tebib/The News Governor-elect Andy Beshear visits the Calloway County Democrats on Nov. 4.

on behalf of the people for their promised pensions. However, for the future, Morelock said the question for Beshear would be whether or not his plans are politically feasible. “From a financial perspective, the pension issue is one of the most serious policy problems facing the state today,” Morelock said. Beshear revealed his plans to solve the pension problem while on the campaign trail with Jacqueline Coleman, lieutenant governor-elect, who is the first active educator since Martha Layne Collins to serve in that role. In a debate hosted by Kentucky Education Tonight on Oct. 28, Beshear said he plans to legalize gaming and medical marijuana to generate a revenue stream and help fund pensions and public education. “We lose over $550 million of revenue every year to [Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia and Tennessee] just to casinos before sports betting or any of the rest,” Beshear said. “If we expand gaming, we put that money directly to the pension system. That frees up dollars in the general fund we can use for public education, health care and job creation.” Beshear said he will not sign a budget into law unless it puts education first. To further the support of public education, he said he will raise teacher salaries in addition to solving the pension problems. He plans to provide a $2,000 across-the -board pay raise to

prioritize public school teachers and aid the statewide teacher shortage. “We are not promising too much to public education because there are so much public education needs,” Beshear said. “Our $2,000-a-year raise, which we are not giving to anybody, these teachers have earned, is about solving that shortage.” Beshear plans to open the door to other revenue streams to fund pensions in addition to his legalization of expanded gaming and medical marijuana. “The first thing we’re going to do is rescind Matt Bevin’s Medicaid waiver where he’s going to spend $270 million of taxpayer dollars just to kick 95,000 people off their health care,” Beshear said on KET. In an episode of “Hey Kentucky!” Beshear said the focus of his campaign was to support the public servants who work diligently. He said his administration will protect Kentucky’s teachers. Beshear also promised a seat at the table for teachers so the promises over pensions can be kept. “Our public servants go to work every day to keep our communities safe, educate tomorrow’s leaders—our children—or put themselves in harm’s way,” Beshear said on his website, andybeshear. com, concerning pension plans. “The least we can do is protect the promised pension benefits they have paid into during their years of service.”



November 7, 2019

Citizens Police Academy Inside jail programs 4:54PM

Theft by deception was reported in Faculty Hall on Oct. 29 after a subject purchased an item online and did not receive the item. The investigation is still open.


Then, they get their photo taken, fingerprints taken, are asked to get changed into a jail uniform and are assigned a cell. If the inmate is intoxicated or under the influence of a narcotic, they will be put in a detoxification cell until they are sober enough to be placed in the general population cell. “Inmates can be very unpredictable,” Bryan said. Bryan said when college starts up in the fall every year, the jail sees an influx of college-aged students. Most of the charges are alcohol related. Occasionally, the jail will see inmates who have mental health issues. While there are employees on staff trained to deal with this type of inmate, there may be better alternatives than spending the night in jail. Sgt. Brant Shutt, public affairs officer for the Murray Police Department, said his officers are trained to recognize mental health issues based on observance and interaction with people they come into contact with. “A l l o u r o f f i c e rs a re trained in crisis intervention,” Shutt said. “They can make the judgment if someone needs to be evaluated by an alternative mental health center, as opposed to being taken to jail.” Next week’s class will f e a t u re a p o l yg r a p h demonstration and a course on traffic operations. It is scheduled for Nov. 11. Addison Watson is a staff writer for The Murray State News. As part of his assignment, he is attending the Citizens Police Academy at the Murray Police Department to write this series of stories. You can find all of his articles in the series at

Domestic violence was reported on Olive Street after a victim was involved in an altercation with the known suspect on Oct. 26. Prosecution was declined.


Criminal mischief was reported in Elizabeth College after a paper on a door was damaged.

11/02 11/01

“We try to work with the inmates the best we can,” Claud said. “If an inmate is cooperative and qualifies for a work program, we do our best to accommodate them and their skillset.” In addition to work programs, under the direction of Claud, there are various classes that can be taken by inmates based on their needs to better the direction of their life prior to being released back into society. The classes include substance abuse counseling, parenting courses, moral reconation therapy and GED courses. Most of the classes are taught by long-time Deputy Jailer Deeann Benke, who serves as program coordinator. Benke has been a deputy jailer with the jail for 25 years. “We try to help them not be so overwhelmed when they get out of jail,” Benke said. “If you can’t get the inmates’ attention, some of our programs resonate with the inmates better.” Benke teaches a class directed toward incarcerated fathers. She noted it is difficult to get the point across to inmates that they need to change their actions and behaviors. “When you start talking about inmate’s children and families, they respond,” Benke said. Sgt. David Bryan discussed the process of booking someone into the court system when they first get arrested and the logistics of how the jail operates day to day. When an officer drops someone off at the jail, they bring the inmate in along with their arresting information. The inmate begins by going through a very precise body scanner that checks for contraband on the inmate before they enter the facility.




Brock Kirk/The News Citizens Police Academy attendees take a tour of the Calloway County Jail.


Terroristic threatening was reported in Winslow Dining Hall after a subject threatened to damage another person’s property. Prosecution was declined.


Possession of marijuana and alcohol intoxication were reported on Olive Street. Subject was cited for possession of marijuana.


Sexual abuse was reported in the Residential Colleges after unwanted sexual contact occured. No criminal complaint was received.

Terroristic threatening was reported in Hester College after a subject sent threatening messages via text. Prosecution was declined.


Possession of alcohol by a minor was reported in Springer College. Subject was referred for administrative action.


Theft was reported in Hart College after decorations were stolen and recovered on Nov. 1. The investigation is still open.


Nov. 4 was the fifth night of the Murray Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy, and attendees of the program were given a tour of the Calloway County Jail. Jailer Ken Claud, also a retired Murray Police Chief, led the tour of the full-service jail. The jail operates in a capacity that houses pre-trial inmates, inmates awaiting a sentence and sometimes convicted inmates for a sentence that does not require them to go to a state or federal prison. The jail was built in 1996, replacing the much-smaller previous jail. Being able to house up to 129 inmates, a majority of the room is available for males. This doesn’t mean if the jail is at capacity law enforcement officials stop doing their job. Four different law enforcement agencies transport inmates to the Calloway County Jail for booking into the court system. The jail has operated dayto-day with nearly 200 inmates before, but currently has 171 inmates. The old jail still houses inmates who have been released to work under supervision. These inmates work 40 hour weeks and are compensated 60 cents a day for their work. There are currently 32 fulltime employees working at the jail. Four deputy jailers must be on staff at all times, and one of the four must be a female. The jail operates on a budget of over $3 million. The budget provides meals, proper housing and other necessities to inmates. The jail also has contracts with outside professionals who provide scheduled medical evaluations, mental health counseling and other services. The inmates on work release do a variety of different jobs for the City of Murray and Calloway County. Some of the jobs they complete are mowing city cemeteries, picking up garbage along roadways and highways, assisting nonprofits and a variety of other assigned tasks. Claud informed attendees that in 2018 approximately $450,000 was saved from having to pay employees to complete the work the inmates do. This saves taxpayer money, and allows the inmates to get out of the jail setting everyday and contribute to the community.


Addison Watson Staff Writer


Possession of drug paraphernalia was reported in Regents College. Subject was referred for administrative action.

Police Beat is compiled with material from the Murray State Crime and Fire Log. Not all dispatched calls are listed. Colton Colglazier/The News


November 7, 2019


The staff editorial is the majority opinion of The Murray State News Editorial Board.

Voter suppression takes toll on polls The Center for American Progress reported that about 120 million eligible Americans did not participate in the 2018 November midterm elections. Voter apathy can only take part of the blame for why Americans continuously do not cast their ballot in both presidential and municipal elections. Voter suppression prevents many eligible Americans from exercising their most fundamental right. States target minorities and historically-marginalized groups to make it more difficult or impossible for them to vote. Thousands of votes are negated in every election due to obstacles such as barriers in the registration process, gerrymandering, misinformation and discrimination. Long lines turn away voters who cannot take time off work. According to CAP, in the 2016 election, 3 percent of people standing in line were forced to leave before voting. Impoverished communities and minorities are targeted in voter purges – a process in which states remove people who haven’t voted, often in as few as two past elections. According to a 2018 Brennan Center for Justice report, between 2014 and 2016, states removed 16 million eligible voters. The highest number of voter purges took place in states with histories of discriminatory voting practices. Minor misspellings or missing hyphens on registration forms can hinder registrants from voting. Before the 2018 midterm election, 53,000 voter registrants in Georgia – 70 percent of whom were black – were in a pending status due to minor errors on their forms. A federal judge intervened four days before the

election, but the registrants still had to gather documents to prove eligibility on a short notice. Voter suppression happens through moving poll sites away from public transportation limits, so people have a harder time getting to the new location. It isn’t uncommon for politicians to give the wrong information about polling locations. The United States has the highest incarceration rates and strictest disenfranchisement policies compared to other countries. Except in Maine and Vermont, felons and parolees are ineligible to vote; in 21 states, felons lose their voting rights during incarceration and for a lengthy period of time after, but felons lose their voting rights indefinitely in 11 states. According to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the United States makes up about 5 percent of the world’s population and has 21 percent of the world’s prisoners. African Americans are incarcerated at more than five times the rate of whites. Marginalized communities such as minority and impoverished groups are disproportionately targeted, so incarceration rates are higher for these communities. But when the right to vote is taken away from these groups, their ability to effect change is also taken; thus, the cycle of targeted incarceration and voter suppression continues. Felon disenfranchisement keeps a large population of minorities from voting despite most of their convictions being for minor drug charges. In close elections, similar to Kentucky’s 2019 gubernatorial race, felon and parole votes could swing the outcome. The NAACP reports

Voting Rights

Brooklyn Burnett/The News

that if Afrcan Americans and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rates as whites, prison and jail populations would decline by almost 40 percent. Presidential elections are often depicted as the most important way to take political action and make a difference. They are extremely important, but local elections are equally – if not more – crucial. Presidents and presidential elections receive the most publicity, which becomes representative to the disproportionate amount of attention that Americans give to them and not local officials. Local officials have much more of a direct impact on citizens’ lives. Focusing primarily on national politics results in local leaders misrepresenting districts and states. Giving little attention, thus fewer votes, to

local elections makes it extremely likely for unfit leaders to take office. Voting in local elections means voting for the officials who make decisions on roads, public safety, water conditions, sewer systems and etc. while balancing economic and budgetary challenges. Change takes place in various ways, but one of the easiest and most impactful ways to make one’s voice heard is through municipal government. Although voter turnout is low in local elections, rates have increased over the past decade. According to an article from the Center for American Progress, voter participation was over 10 percentage points higher in the 2018 midterm election than the 2014 midterm election. Hopefully, the number continues to increase in the future.

Cheers to the Thanksgiving Break quickly approching!

Jeers to the uncertainty of the gubernatorial election.

As November begins, so does the countdown to Thanksgiving Break!

With Beshear seemingly winning the election by less than 1 percent, Bevin refuses to concede the race.

Megan Reynolds Daniella Tebib Claire Smith Gage Johnson Cady Stribling Editor-in-Chief News Editor Features Editor Sports Editor Opinion Editor

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Bryce Anglin David Wallace Production Manager Chief Copy Editor Kalea Anderson Elizabeth Erwin Chief Videographer Public Relations Manager

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November 7, 2019

Racers earn No. 2 seed in OVC Tourney Soccer looks to go back-to-back-to-back

Nick Kendall Staff Writer

The Murray State Racers are all set to compete at the OVC Soccer Tournament, earning the second seed in the event. The Racers finished the regular season with a threegame winning streak, an overall record of 11-7 and a conference record of 8-2. This allowed the Racers to clinch a spot in the quarterfinals automatically, meaning they will have to win only two games to bring home a championship. The only team seeded higher than the Racers are the SEMO RedHawks, who went 11-4-1 overall, 8-1-1 in the conference. The two met once this season, as the Racers defeated the Redhawks 5-0 at Cutchin Field on Sunday, Sept. 29. Head Coach Matt Lodge likes his team’s chances going into the tournament. Despite being the two seed, he considers Murray State to be the team to beat. Sophomore forward Abby

Murray State soccer huddles up before a home game.

Jones agreed the two seed didn’t do the Racers justice, but regardless Jones believes Murray State is in a great position to succeed. Both she and senior Miyah

Watford mentioned the team’s great opportunity to win the championship this year. Looking back on the season, Lodge mentioned the

Richard Thompson/The News

variation his team experienced when it came to positioning his players and how that will best prepare them for a run in the OVC Tournament.

“It’s been kind of a crazy whirlwind year,” Lodge said. “We’ve played about eight or nine back forwards, four different goalkeepers. I think we’ve really got something good going on.” Lodge didn’t see anything in particular his solidified roster has to do to prepare now, other than stay healthy. If they can do that, he says, he anticipates reaching the finals and giving “a good go” for the championship title. If the Racers do pull it off, they will have won the OVC Championship three years in a row. The first OVC Tournament game for Murray State will take place on Friday, Nov. 8, at 3 p.m. at SEMO, where the Racers will face the No. 6 seeded Belmont, who upset No. 2 seeded UT Martin 3-2 on Sunday, Nov. 3. A Racers win will give them a chance at the OVC Championship on Sunday, Nov. 10, when they travel to Cape Girardeau, Missouri in hopes of completing the three-peat.

Cross Country closes the books on 2019 Simon Elfrink Staff Writer

The 2019 cross country season carried into November for Murray State as they competed at the OVC Cross Country Championships at SIU Edwardsville on Saturday, Nov. 2. The Racers’ season came to a conclusion, as the men’s team placed sixth and the women’s team placed eighth in Edwardsville, Illinois. Cross Country Coach Jordan Wallace was pleased with the way the Racers represented themselves at the conference meet. “I think we went into the meet with a lot more confidence than we have in years past,” Wallace said. “Our program has been building with our men’s side, so I think we’re headed in the right direction, trying to get a little closer to the top-five spot. We haven’t been fifth in the conference since 2003, so that’s definitely a goal that we have. We got just a little closer to that goal.” The men’s team placed sixth overall, the best they have done at the conference meet since

2015, when they yielded an identical place. Leading the way for the Racers was junior Caleb Kawasaki. Kawasaki placed 18th overall with a time of 25:34.7. “Caleb obviously had a very good race,” Wallace said. “Probably one of the best performances out of both men’s and women’s cross country for the group.” Senior Zach Balleau was a little under a minute behind Kawasaki, crossing the line at 26:19.6 and placing 37th. Junior Meyer Makemson came in 53rd overall and timed in at 27:18.4. Just steps behind him was sophomore Christian Slone, who finished 55th overall with a time of 27:24.3. Ten seconds later, senior Zan McClelland crossed at 27:34.2, placing 59th overall. Wallace commented on the close proximity in which the bulk of the top five men finished. “Christian was running really well throughout the course of the race,” Wallace said. “Then Meyer passed him right there at the end for our third spot. Christian still coming in fourth was awesome.” Although the women’s team ran comparatively solid personal times, they

didn’t share the success the men had in placement. They came in eighth overall, led by freshman Emma Graf. Graf placed 26th overall with a time of 18:57.5. Sophomore Emma Creviston finished with a time of 19:18.9, placing 40th overall. Only seconds behind was sophomore Dani Wright, crossing at 19:21.9 and placing 44th. Senior Katelyn Gilbert and sophomore Morgan Vosler rounded out the top five finishers, placing 53rd and 56th, respectively. Gilbert finished with a time of 19:44.7, and Vosler’s time was 19:56.0 Wallace, while pleased with the individual performance of her women’s team, wasn’t thrilled with getting eighth place. “It’s not necessarily a place that we are super happy with,” Wallace admitted. “Once again, I think we’re headed toward the right direction. It’s a really great group of girls. They’ve been working very hard this season. They’ve had a lot of individual personal bests along the way.” Looking forward to the regional meet, Wallace’s only concern is the distance of the race. The men will run a 10k, while the women will run a 6k.

Given the young nature of the team, the majority of her runners have not experienced the regional competition before. However, she said the Racers are prepared for the terrain aspect of the race. “It’s a little intimidating,” Wallace said. “But luckily,

our home course we raced at back in October really helped prepare us, because the regional course is very hilly. I think we’re prepared based on our home meet. I’m just really excited to see both the men’s and women’s team get after it. It’s going to be really exciting to see.”

Photo courtesy of Patrick Clark/Athlete Eye Photography Murray State men’s cross country runs in the OVC Championships.


November 7, 2019


Jones looks to become Racers soccer great Simon Elfrink Staff Writer

Over the course of the regular soccer season, sophomore forward Abby Jones totaled some impressive numbers and represented herself well among the OVC leaders. Last season’s OVC Freshman of the Year, Jones will go into the OVC Tournament leading the conference in assists with 10. She is also seventh in shots (40), eighth in goals (6), fifth in shots on goal (25) and third in points (22). Jones attributes her offensive success to the focus on simply perfecting her region of the game. “I’ve just been enjoying the game,” Jones said. “I was injured in the spring, so to be able to get back on the field has put a different perspective on the game.” Jones suffered from a stress fracture last fall, leading to surgery and recovery throughout the winter and spring months. However, after getting the chance to get back on the field over the summer, her recovery yielded an impressive fall season. Head Coach Matt Lodge was not surprised in the least by her performance this season. Even as a freshman, he could see the makings of a great leader in Jones. After a powerful start, she has certainly settled into the role. “She’s stayed consistent throughout her growth,” Lodge said. “The

thing that I’ve loved about her this year is she’s stepped into a leadership role as a captain. She’s very vocal. She’ll absolutely let people know if they’re doing their job or not. She’s been a real leader for us this year.” Lodge explained how pivotal it is to have a player like Jones on the team to make the offensive specialists shine. Lodge commented on how well Jones’ style of play complements the speed and shooting ability of players like senior forward Miyah Watford. “Abby’s soccer IQ is very high,” Lodge said. “That’s why you see the assists, because she knows she’s playing around people with speed. She just sees the game a little different than a lot of people.” Although her time at Murray State has only just begun, Jones has high hopes for the rest of her career. Jones looks to upperclassman Watford to push her and help her reach new heights. In the coming years, she hopes to outdo her teammate’s numbers and be a leader for her team. “You know, I want to beat Miyah Watford now,” Jones said. “Obviously we push each other and I respect her; I respect so much of her. [I] just have to keep pushing and be the best I can be.” Jones’ campaign will continue on Friday, Nov. 8, at 3 p.m., when the Racers compete in the OVC Tournament Semifinal against Belmont University in hopes of a third-straight trip to the OVC Championship.

Abby Jones sends a corner kick into the box at Cutchin Field.

We have special prices on drinks! (Monday and Wednesday) Small margarita buy one at regular price and get the second one for only 25 cents.

(Tuesday and Thursday) Imported beer 23oz $3.50 12oz $2.50 From 3 p.m. to close.

#murraystate #students #discount All Murray State students get 10% off with student ID.

Come see us! 106 S. 12th Street Murray, KY 270-767-1627 Lauren Morgan/The News



November 7, 2019

Student to earn degree in France Grant Dillard Staff Writer

Samantha Reattoir is close to becoming the first Murray State student to earn a degree from Emlyon University in Saint Etienne, France, in addition to her degree from Murray State, after participating in an exchange student program. “I learned about this program when I toured Murray as a sophomore in high school and spoke with Dr. Miller and Dr. Mangold about the International Business Program here at MSU,” Reattoir said. “That was about five years ago, but I knew that this program was something I needed to do,” Reattoir described her experience in France as unbelievable. She said she learned about herself, the world around her and the unique people living in it. She also admitted that being far away from home for two semesters was challenging, but she feels that the experience was rewarding in the end. “I met so many amazing people and now have friends all over the world,” Reattoir said. “I was able to travel to 12 different countries and countless French cities. Europe is beautiful, and there is so much diversity and history between cultures. The university experience in France was very different than my classes at Murray – I was able to do a lot of hands-on learning in France.” Some highlights of Reattoir’s trip included visiting friends she made during her first semester in Latvia and the Czech Republic and another new friend taking her to Belgium and showing her around the country. Reattoir’s mother also came to France after her first semester and the two took a road trip across northern Italy and Slovenia to learn about their family heritage; Reattoir said the trip was very special to her. It’s also important to understand the program Reattoir participated in, which has been sending students to Saint Etienne since spring 2013. International Affairs major Katherine Powers was the first exchange student from Murray State. Timothy Johnston, marketing professor, has worked as a faculty director for the program and as a mentor for Reattoir. “As a partner in an exchange program, Murray State aims to welcome an equal number of Emlyon students to study in Murray,” Johnston said. Emlyon itself is one of the most prestigious business

Photo courtesy of Samantha Reattoir Samantha Reattoir will earn a degree from Emlyon Business School in Ecully, France, which she considers to be her biggest accomplishment.

schools in Europe, only conferring business degrees. Murray State students can take third- and fourth-year courses in business, and be taught in English after two years of being taught in French. This makes Emlyon an ideal study abroad opportunity for students in the college of business. “Samantha is on track to be the first Murray State student to receive a second degree from Emlyon Business School, based on two semesters of coursework in France,” Johnston said. “All she needs to do is to finish her last semester at Murray State, which I am sure she will.” For the work itself in getting an Emlyon degree, a one-semester visit requires enrollment in the European equivalent of 12 hours of classes. The student can then choose from the courses Emlyon has to offer based on what interests them or what they can transfer back for courses they need at Murray

Samantha is on track to be the first Murray State student to receive a second degree from Emlyon Business School, based on two semesters of coursework in France. All she needs to do is to finish her last semester at Murray State, which I am sure she will. - Timothy Johnston,

marketing professor

State. As for a second degree program, a student takes the same courses full-time Emlyon Global BBA program students take in their third and fourth years. “Samantha is an excellent student and is a positive contributor to the Murray State and Emlyon business schools. Murray State could not ask for a better person to be on track to earn the first Emlyon second degree,” Johnston said. Reattoir considers earning her Emlyon degree the biggest accomplishment in her life right now. Even better is that her experience in France led her to discovering her potential future career post-graduation. At Emlyon she took a hospitality management class and loved it. Currently, Reattoir is applying for hospitality internships across the United States. As for advice to anyone looking to achieve the same kind of goals, Reattoir’s words of wisdom are to just go for it,

no matter what obstacles may get in the way. “It’s going to be stressful,” Reattoir said. “Applications, getting a visa, finding an apartment, packing and moving across the ocean for five months at a time, getting abroad and being a foreigner. But at the end of your program you’ll wish you didn’t have to go home,” Reattoir said. Ultimately, traveling is about getting out of your comfort zone. “Going abroad is catching flights and catching feelings – lots of them – the good and the bad,” Reattoir said. “Travel will fill you with wonder – the truth is that there is a lot more to discover out there beyond Murray, Kentucky; A lot more beyond our own borders here in the United States. The best way to start to understand it and appreciate it is to go out of your comfort zone and start meeting.”


November 7, 2019


University to celebrate first-generation students Grant Dillard Staff Writer

Murray State University will celebrate its first-generation college students with the upcoming First Generation Celebration. First-generation students are those whose parents or guardians have not graduated from a four-year university. The Council for Opportunity in Education and the Center for First-Generation Student Success hosted the first celebration in 2017. The COE and the Center for First-Generation Students choose Nov. 8 to celebrate not only first-generation students but the Higher Education Act of 1965. “HEA was intended to help level a playing field that for too long had been weighed against Americans from minority and low-income backgrounds,” according to the Center for First-Generation Students website. The legislation created grant and loan programs for students and invested in institutions for higher education.

Student Engagement and Success and Student Support Services/TRiO had a hand in planning the event, according to its coordinator Jennifer Smith. “National First Gen Day is Nov. 8, and we are excited to recognize our first-gen students, faculty, staff and supporters on Nov. 7,” Smith said. Smith said Murray State is made up of faculty and staff who truly care about students and their success; stating that when students visit campus, they feel a welcoming spirit. “We hear it all the time, ‘Murray State University just feels like home,’ and it’s true,” Smith said. ”We are a home away from home, we are a community, we are Racers.” Forty-two percent of the fall 2019 first-time Freshman class at Murray State are considered first-generation, Smith said and 47.2 percent of the fall 2019 undergraduate population is made up of first-gen students as well. “To be the first in a family to attend college is not only important to the student, but in most cases, important to their family,” Smith said.

Student Engagement and Success recognizes the large population of firstgen students present on campus and works hard to connect with and support students and their families. The organization also s e n d s a p a re n t / f a m i l y newsletter twice a month to any family who subscribes, and we sponsor the Parent/Family Council. In fact, one of the members of the council is the parent of a first-generation student. “We are honored students chose Murray State to continue their education,” Smith said. Our faculty and staff are committed to supporting our students, not only in the classroom, but with the many resources available on campus.” The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 7 in the Waterfield Library Patio. President Bob Jackson and Vice President for Student Affairs Don Robertson will speak at 10 a.m. At the celebration first-generation students students and supporters can enjoy cupcakes,punch and hot chocolate. Free shirts and buttons will also be provided while supplies last.

Claire Smith/The News Speech and Debate is experimenting with an online debate format.

Speech and Debate tests online format Grant Dillard Staff Writer

A s o f n o w, M u r r a y State’s Speech and Debate team is undefeated in online debates. The team’s perfect winning streak is due to the team having only done one debate for the sake of experimentation, Joshua Sanders, junior and head coach, said.

We are given 15 minutes of prep per topic. Topics range from foreign and domestic policy, pop culture, values and current events.

- Joshua Sanders, senior and head coach of Speech and Debate

Megan Reynolds/TheNews

Sanders has been on the debate team for three years now and is the head coach. “We typically travel to three tournaments a semester and are a really good team,” Sanders said. “The last tournament, at Owensboro, we just took home first in debate as a team, and second in overall, with

numerous awards with the individuals.” T h e t e a m ha s b e e n around Kentucky and Tennessee for debates, along with traveling long distances for nationals. Last year, they journeyed to New York where the placed in first at the National Speech and De bate Association’s Pi Kappa Delta Tournament. Later this year they will travel to San Diego for nationals. “This will be my third year debating, and my first as the head coach for the team,” Sanders said. On the debate side of the team, there are three va rs i t y d e b a t e t e a m s consisting of two peo ple each, and three more novice debaters. On the speech side, there are eight other individuals who only do individual events at tournaments. In terms of what the teams debate, it depends on the tournament itself. “We are given 15 minutes of prep per topic,” Sanders said. “Topics range from foreign and domestic policy, pop culture, values and current events.” O n l i n e d e b a t e s a re not currently viewable, but Sanders encourages those who would like to see the team debate to attend the Dean’s Debate in Wrather Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7. As for those who may be interested in joining the team, Sanders isn’t taking on anyone new at the moment. But at the end of the school year, he will begin to contact people who reach out to his email at about joining the team.



November 7, 2019

Students form wedding quartet Ciara Benham Staff Writer Five Murray State students have combined their talents to create a hobby and business that pulls on the heartstrings of brides and grooms across the region. The Heartstrings Wedding Quartet is a group of string instrument players made up of students Katie Beard, Emily Bragg, Autumn Renee, Alex Thome and Gloria Benz. Including violin, viola, cello and bass, the quartet brings an array of talent everywhere they go. Junior music education major Katie Beard founded the Heartstrings after her past experience playing for weddings. “I had been in another wedding quartet and greatly enjoyed playing for the clients,” Beard said. “I created this quartet so that we can continue to add some magic to each of our client’s special day.” Through the quartet, the musicians have gathered

Photo courtesy of Nicholas Bushnell Alex Thome, Katie Beard, Emily Bragg and Autumn Renee along with Gloria Benz make up the Heartstring Quartet.

important life lessons. From what it takes to balance work and school to how to overcome and adapt, the Heartstrings have learned so much more than music together. “The quartet has taught me how to be flexible. This is extremely important for

being a teacher because we have to be super flexible,”Renee, senior elementary education major, said. Renee is not the only member who hopes to transfer her newfound skills into the classroom. “Being in the quartet has taught me to balance

schedules and to coordinate,” Beard said. “This will be extremely helpful when I am later teaching in the school systems.” The quartet isn’t only rewarding for the members because of the lessons they learn, but also because they genuinely enjoy what they do.

“My favorite part is spending time with the friends that I love to be with,” Benz said. Ever y member of the quartet said they appre ciated and valued working alongside their fellow musicians. “I really enjoy getting the chance to work with the other members of the quartet, as they are all very musically talented and fun,” Beard said. “I also enjoy playing for the clients and seeing them enjoy the music.” Although it’s difficult at times, the Heartstrings work diligently and rehearse often to provide the best performance for their clients. “It’s definitely not easy at times, but we make sure we get at least two to three practices in a week,” Bragg said. The quartet exhibits a great dedication to their work by committing to these practices, while also staying on top of their school work. “I always put academics first,” Renee said. “ But, I love music enough that I can always make time for it!”

Outstanding alumna awarded Claire Smith Features Editor Jennifer Stubblefield grew up to become a teacher in one of the classrooms she was taught in. Stubblefield graduated from Murray State in 1992 and has been a teacher at Calloway County High School for the last 27 years. In October she was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Service Award from the College of Education and Human Services. Stubblefield was humbled when she received the award. “This is an award that usually goes to Ph.D.s and professor emeritus and a high school teacher receives it,” Stubblefield said. Robert Lyons, professor and assistant dean of the College of Education and Human Services, said it was the college’s honor to present her with the award. “Ms. Jennifer Stubblefield is a prime example of our college’s alumni,” Lyons said. “She is a lifelong learner who goes above and beyond the call of duty to serve not only her students but also her peers, our region and the field of education.” As part of the award Stubblefield participated in the

Homecoming Parade where she got to ride in a vintage car. “I love parades,” Stubblefield said. “It was great. The man who drove me in the parade is actually a former coworker of mine here at the high school.” She was able to bring someone to ride with her in the parade and chose her dad because he is one of the biggest reasons she decided to become an educator. When she was graduating high school the state was just beginning to become computerized and she knew she wanted to work with children. “I love technology, I love everything about business, entrepreneurship, but I loved kids,” Stubblefield said. “When I got on campus I was quickly introduced to the business education career pathway.” Stubblefield attended Murray State as a nontraditional student, having married her high school sweetheart between her sophomore and junior years of college. Being a nontraditional student didn’t stop her from taking in all the University has to offer. “I got to work in all the right places,” Stubblefield said. “I was a student ambassador charged with going to recruit students for Murray State. I was

Brock Kirk/The News Jennifer Stubblefield rode in the Homecoming Parade with her father who is one of her biggest influences.

not in Greek Life but I stayed very busy, there was never a time when I was bored.” She was also involved in other activities across campus, community service and organizations in the education department. Her favorite part about being a teacher is the students she gets to work with. “The kids keep you young, the kids have energy, the kids are what make you want to come to school everyday,” Stubblefield said. “You work with great people, I have some

of the best colleagues but it’s the kids.” She takes being a teacher very seriously, saying her students are like sponges. “You could really alter someone’s career path with negativity or your lack of enthusiasm,” Stubblefield said. Winning this award makes Stubblefield proud to be a Racer. “The College of Education is one of the oldest and to join this list of all the people they could have picked it is a huge honor and something I don’t take

lightly and will treasure forever,” Stubblefield said. Stubblefield will retire in April from teaching in the very classroom she had high school classes in. “I’m looking forward to the next chapter,” Stubblefield said. “I’m definite ly not going to sit home on the back porch and knit and make cookies but I’m ready to start my second career and see what God’s got going out there for me and what door he’s going to open for me next.”


November 7, 2019


Friday, Nov. 8: Alpha Gam’s Rock-A-Thon Photo courtesy of Ben Littlepage Ben Littlepage, professor of postsecondary education spent time teaching in Hungary with the Fulbright program.

Professor’s Fulbright travels Littlepage details his time abroad Iris Snapp Contributing Writer Professor of Post-secondary education Ben Littlepage has just finished his first stint in Hungary and plans to return with the Fulbright program in the last two weeks of March. Through this program, Littlepage lectures at different universities around the world and worked with the University’s administration to implement programs that were discussed in September. Although Littlepage was in Hungary to teach, he spent most of his time observing students and different schooling techniques. “Anytime I walk into a new campus, the first thing I look at is how students interact, how students are engaged on campus,” Littlepage said. He also explained the different education techniques he observed. For example, at the university he visited in Hungary, students did not have assignments during the semester. Instead, they just attended class and took notes. Their whole grade was based on an exam at the end of the semester. “Some students take the semester seriously and go to every class,” Littlepage said. “Some students, like at any campus, are more involved in the social aspects of college.” One of the places that showed him a new perspective was South Korea when he visited last summer. With this experience, he wanted to find a way to make international students feel more at home on the Murray State campus. He also took a group of graduate students with him. Littlepage and his students spoke about changes that could make transitions for international students smoother at Murray State, and some have been

implemented, such as translated housing applications. He also noticed school pride is not as strong as it is in the United States. Many students do not own an item with the school name or logo on it. There are also no sports teams. Although one thing he has noticed everywhere is that if the school does not organize things for the students, the students will do it themselves. “Either way students are going to organize themselves,” Littlepage said. “If you go out past 11 o’clock at night, you will see students with similar interests together.” Many international institutions are known for one thing that they specialize in. These specialized schools draw people from all over the country to attend a school that fits their needs. These specialties might not only be what the student needs but what the student wants to study, for example, the university in which Littlepage taught at was specialized in agriculture. “If you were a student in Hungary, and you wanted agriculture, you went to this institution,” Littlepage said. Most of the interesting parts of his travels were outside of the school, such as the diversity of crops grown in Hungary. There they grow everything from corn and soy to fields of thousands of sunflowers for the seeds. While in Hungary, Littlepage visited several parts of the country, experiencing everything from Budapest to the rural villages. “One of the things I noticed about international communities is that people take pride in their country and are very knowledgeable in their history,” Littlepage said.

He also spoke about how riding public transport will give a person more knowledge of the country and its people. Although his primary objective while he was there was to be with the university and work, he got a broader picture of the country by taking transportation and connecting with people. “Professionally, having the opportunity to share what we do in the United States, and understanding that our model for higher education is unique, and knowing that some of the things we do in the States can benefit a different system of higher education,” Littlepage said. Littlepage continues to work with the administration on higher education in regards to finance and planning in order to benefit students, as well as globalization. He also noticed these universities are also push for more international students, and while he was in South Korea, there was a 12 percent international student population. This gave him the chance to speak to students from China and Iraq, which gave him a new perspective. “I had an opportunity my fourth day there to speak to a student from Iraq,” Littlepage said. “I was the first American he had ever met that did not wear a military uniform.” These experiences gave Littlepage a different pers p e c t iv e o n t h e e n t i re world and what it is to be an American. He is extremely grateful for the opportunities the University has provided for him. Whether he’s learning professionally, personally or spiritually, these experiences are something he will never forget.

@ 7 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium

Saturday, Nov. 9: Chamber Concert

@ 7:30 p.m. in Price Doyle Fine Arts Building in the Performing Arts Hall

Sunday, Nov. 10: Fall Choral Collage

@ 3:30 p.m. in Price Doyle Fine Arts Building in the Performing Arts Hall

Joint Senior Recital: Molly Stokes and Hayden Lefevre

@ 6 p.m. in Price Doyle Fine Arts Building in the Performing Arts Hall

Murray/CallowayCountyHomeless Coalition Fundraiser Concert @ 7 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium

Monday, Nov. 11: Veterans Day Celebration @ 6 a.m. in Curris Center Theatre

Tuesday, Nov. 12: Tinsel Town

@ 7 p.m. in Curris Center Theatre

BrassandWoodwindChamberMusic @ 7:30 p.m. in Price Doyle Fine Arts Building in the Performing Arts Hall

Career Services Fashion Show

@ 7:30 p.m. in Curris Center Barkley Room

Wednesday, Nov. 13: Spanish Conversation Table

@ 3 p.m. in Waterfield Library Gallery

Thursday, Nov. 14: German Coffee Table

@ 3:30 p.m. in Collins Industry and Technology Center Conference Room 206

If you would like to see your event featured email the features editor at Colton Colglazier/The News


November 7, 2019

A special publication of The Murray State News

Men’s basketball hunting for three-peat Page 2b

Young Racers look to return to Evansville Page 3b

Racers look to replace top-two scorers Page 7b

Racers continue to build post presence Page 10b

Gage Johnson and Colton Colglazier/The News



November 7, 2019

Men’s basketball hunting for three-peat Gage Johnson Sports Editor

University of Tennessee. Along with a matchup with Southern Illinois University, the team will make a trip to the Sunshine State for the Florida Gulf Coast Showcase during the week of Thanksgiving. In an eight-team field, the Racers will play three games in three days, beginning with a game against the La Salle Explorers on Monday, Nov. 25, at 6:30 p.m. The second game, which will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 26, will either be against Wright State or Weber State. The final day of play will come against one of four teams: Northeastern University, University of South Alabama, Drake University or Miami University (Ohio).

After a year full of highlight passes, dunks, record-breaking performances and the largest NCAA Tournament win in program history, Murray State men’s basketball’s journey toward its third-straight OVC Championship and a trip to the Big Dance is underway.

Filling the shoes of the “bounce bros” Whether you tuned in to hear Neal Bradley and Kenny Roth call the game or made the trip to the CFSB Center to watch the Racers live, “Morant to Buchanan” became synonymous with Racer Basketball last season. The two forged a formidable backcourt and a strong Murray State duo reminiscent of the Jonathan Stark and Terrell Miller pairing that led the Racers to an OVC Championship in 2017-18, with the help of Shaq Buchanan and Ja Morant. The two have both gone on to the NBA, with Morant joining the Memphis Grizzlies after being selected No. 2 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, and Buchanan signing a deal to join the Grizzlies’ G-League affiliate Memphis Hustle. This leaves the Racers with 37.5 ppg, 11.7 apg and 3.6 spg to account for. Luckily for Murray State, it returns the three-and-D threat sophomore guard Tevin Brown, senior forward Darnell Cowart—who was named to the Preseason All-OVC First Team alongside Brown—the 201819 OVC field goal percentage leader sophomore forward KJ Williams and fifth-year senior forward Anthony Smith. Senior guard Jaiveon Eaves and junior forward Devin Gilmore also return to the Racers, as the two were the first off the bench for the Racers down the stretch last season. Head Coach Matt McMahon is ecstatic to return so many of his players from last season’s championship team and expects them all to become better players and leaders for this year’s team. “I think those guys are hungry to get the opportunity to do it again,” McMahon said. “Now they have to try and build the program and step forward into bigger roles. I think they’ve put in the time this offseason to be in position to do so. Now we have to go out and get it done.” While Brown was typically the third option at the guard spot behind Buchanan and Morant last season, McMahon expects him to make a big

How will the OVC shape up?

Gage Johnson/The News Head Coach Matt McMahon celebrates after the Racers NCAA Tournament win against Marquette.

jump with the amount of work he put in over the summer. “I think if you look especially at the production in the Bahamas you have to look at Tevin Brown,” McMahon said. “Down in the Bahamas he averaged 22 ppg in 22 minutes, shot the ball off the charts and really impacted the game at both ends of the floor. I expect him to continue that.” Williams and Cowart filled in nicely last season when Smith went down early with a season-ending injury. McMahon said you’d never know that Anthony was injured if you watched him right now, and he is ready to be one of the leaders on the hardwood for the Racers this season. “He’s been relentless in his drive to get back on the floor,” McMahon said. “He brings incredible toughness and competitiveness to our team. He only knows one speed. Whether it’s practice, shootaround, individual workouts, or the game, he’s going to come in and give you everything he’s got.” Williams’ breakout season surprised many during his freshman year, and he hopes to build on that success this season. “I’m going to try to help the team scoring-wise,” Williams said. “Last year, I was more like a dump down guy. I was scoring, but not as much. So this year, there’s a big emphasis on me to score more.”

Cowart became a household name for the Racers toward the end of last season, starting the final 13 games. He averaged 10.3 ppg while leading the team in rebounding with 6.5 rpg. Gilmore also took a step forward last season gaining some crunch time toward the end of the year. Most notably, he stood out in the season finale against Austin Peay, scoring 12 points on 6-for-6 shooting, snagging five rebounds and blocking two shots. While McMahon is aware of what the team lost after the last season, he isn’t concerned with replacing them. “We don’t make it about who do we have to replace, it’s about this our team and how do we build this group into the best team we can be,” McMahon said. “I know we lost one of the best players in the world off our team from last year, but we do return about half of our production. It doesn’t guarantee you anything, but it does show that there are some pieces in place and if they’ve done what they were supposed to in the offseason, then they’ll be ready to step in and make a bigger impact this season.”

welcomes six new players through transfers and incoming freshmen. The team will also welcome redshirt freshman guard DaQuan Smith, who sat out all of last season with a leg injury. He will be accompanied by incoming guards freshman Noah Kamba, freshman walkon Rod Thomas, junior Jason Holliday and McDonald’s All-American nominee freshman Chico Carter Jr. Meanwhile, the freshman forwards Matt Smith and Demond Robinson will join the returning trio of bigs for the Racers. Brown believes the balance between incoming players and returning Racers will be a big advantage for them throughout the season. “I feel like we definitely have a deeper team this year,” Brown said. “We have people that have been here that know what it takes and then we have people here that are coming in and being shown what it takes.”

Non-conference challenges

Last season the Racers faced one of the toughest non-conference schedules in program history, taking on Incoming Racers two SEC schools in the University of Alabama and Auprovide depth burn University. Along with the many reThis season won’t be too turning Racers, the team far off, taking on the SEC’s

After one of the conference’s most talent-filled years with players such as Morant and Belmont’s forward Dylan Windler being drafted and countless players pursuing a professional career in the G-League or overseas, many teams have big shoes to fill. The retirement of former Bruins Head Coach Ricky Byrd leads to a new era in Belmont basketball, headed by new Head Coach Casey Alexander, who spent the past six seasons at Lipscomb University. Belmont fell to the Racers in the OVC Championship 77-65 last season, marking the second year in a row that the Bruins lost in the OVC Championship. Despite this, Belmont was voted No. 1 in the 2019-20 preseason OVC poll. The Bruins will be without 2018-19 All-OVC First Team selections Windler (21.1 ppg, 10.3 rpg) and guard Kevin McClain (16.2 ppg, 4.2 apg). However, they will benefit from returning last season’s OVC Freshman of the Year in sophomore forward Nick Muszynksi, sophomore guard Grayson Murphy and sophomore Caleb Hollander who all contributed key minutes for the Bruins last season. Jacksonville State will also look very different from a year ago, as they will be without Jason Burnell (17.2 ppg and 9.6 rpg) and Marlon Hunter (12.7 ppg), the team’s two leading scorers, and Christian Cunningham (8.4 ppg and 7.7 rpg), the team’s second-leading rebounder.

Game info

The Racers will open up the regular season when they take on Southern University at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the CFSB Center.


November 7, 2019


Gage Johnson/The News

The Murray State women’s basketball team looks on during their exhibition game against Georgetown College.

Young Racers look to return to Evansville Nick Kendall Staff Writer

In the second year of Head Coach Rechelle Turner’s tenure, Murray State women’s basketball shocked the conference last season and hope to build on that with a young team this season. Last Season vs.This Season The Racers were expected to finish last in the OVC preseason poll last year, but a 9-9 conference record put them in a tie for sixth place with Jacksonville State. Murray State got the No. 6 seed in the conference tournament and took an early exit after falling to the three-seeded UT-Martin Skyhawks. This season, the team has been picked to finish eighth in the OVC and Head Coach Rechelle Turner is proud of the growth her young team showing but explains that to her and the team those are just rankings. “I’m very proud of the fact that we were able to get that respect,” Turner said. “But I tell my players all the time you’re gonna prove people right or prove people wrong every time you take the court.” “To be the best you have to play the best” Just like last season, the Racers will face some more serious, highly ranked opponents in non-conference play. The Racers will begin the regular season at the University of Louisville at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The Cardinals have made it to or past the NCAA Tournament Round of 32 for the last nine years. They made it all the way to the Elite Eight last

year before falling to the University of Connecticut 80-73. The next week, they’ll travel to Mississippi State University to take on the 2018 National Championship winning Bulldogs at 7 p.m. in Starkville, Mississippi. “Our kids are excited about those opportunities,” Turner said. “Being able to play in those venues to see what it’s like to go against the best, those are Final Four teams. I’ve always believed that if you want to be the best, you have to play the best and try to emulate their success.” The home opener and conference play begins for Murray State at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2 at the CFSB Center. The team will face Belmont on Jan. 23 and the Battle of the Border versus Austin Peay will be at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb.13 in Clarksville, Tennessee. Turner realizes the heavy competition they’ll face in conference play too. “Our first 10 or 12 games in the conference are against the top five teams in the conference,” Turner said. “Putting, still a young team, out on the floor you just gotta realize we’re still in the process. We gotta take it one day at a time and continue to improve.” Leaving, Returning Players Murray State lost two key players over the offseason in senior forward Evelyn Adebayo and junior guard Janika Griffith-Wallace. Adebayo, after averaging and leading the team with 18.2 ppg and 11.4 rpg, was offered a spot on UConn’s roster which led to her transferring to the college basketball powerhouse.

Griffith-Wallace transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University. In the 2017-18 season, the Rams went 7-22. The following year they improved to a highly respectable 24-10. Turner admitted losing those two important players on the team was tough, but she has key returning players in sophomore guards Macey Turley, Lex Mayes and sophomore forward Alexis Burpo. “They have a bit of an advantage because they understand what the expectations were from the very beginning,” Turner said. “They hear the same lingo, there’s definitely communication, there’s no gap there. Last year as freshmen they went out and proved themselves with the way they played.” Turley started in 30 games for the Racers, averaged 13.1 ppg and lead the team with 4.4 apg. She also tied the third longest made free throw streak by making 29 and finished with the 26th best average in the nation. Turley was named OVC Freshman of the Week seven times and later earned the 2019 OVC Freshman of the Year award. On Oct. 22, she was named to the Preseason AllOVC team. Mayes finished her freshman season averaging 7.7 ppg. She also led the team with 56 made three-pointers and an average of 38.6 percent from behind the arc. Burpo started in 12 games and had a 41.2 field goal percentage. She recorded a career high 14 points against Oakland City University. New Players Turner added four new players to the roster and

they are expected to make big contributions early. Freshman guard Jentri Worley was the first to be signed for the upcoming season. Averaging 20.5 ppg and 5.2 rpg, Worley led her hometown Neelyville High School Lady Tigers to the Missouri Class 2 State title and a 25-4 record. Turner believes Worley is a great addition to the team for the ability to play multiple positions and bring a killer mentality to the team. “Jentri is a strong guard that can change a game in several different ways,” Turner said. “She is a winner and will bring that mentality to our program.” Turner explained Worley will help share the point guard duties with Turley. “Jentri is very capable of playing the point and relieving pressure from Macey,” Turner said. “Macey is really good at sliding over the two. We can run Macey off some screens and give her some help by taking her off the basketball. Jentri’s arrival is definitely helping us in being able to move pieces around.” Next to sign was freshman forward Sarah Sutton from Allen County-Scottsville High School in Scottsville, Kentucky. Turner has high hopes for Sutton because of her dominant presence on the court. “Sarah is a player that can stretch the floor by knocking down shots,” Turner said. “She comes from a tradition rich program and understands what it takes to win.” Sutton finished top five in the ACSHS all-time scoring leaders and earned the titles of Region 4 Preseason Player of the year and District 15 MVP. Turner picked up some more scoring talent in junior guard Ashley Hunter. Hunter transferred from Moraine Valley Community

College where she became the schools second all-time scoring leader at 1,206. She also holds the Moraine Valley record for points in a single game at 48 and an NJCAA record for most made field goals at 21. The hardworking play style of junior forward Laci Hawthorne caught Turner’s attention. The 2017 McDonald’s All-American nominee was an important player for New Mexico Junior College as she helped the team reach the finals of the 2019 NJCAA Division 1 Championship. She played in all 35 of her team’s games and averaged 9.8 points and 5.4 rebounds. Before coming to Murray, Hawthorne spent one season at the University of the Incarnate Word. Turner expects Hawthorne to give the team some athleticism that the team lacked previously. Last but not least, the Racers also welcomed junior guard G’Torria Swinton, another JUCO transfer. Swinton transferred from ASA College-Miami where she played 29 games and averaged 6.4 ppg and 3.7 rpg. Turner looks forward to a great season with the still young, but very capable team. “We’re excited, the kids have been working hard, really putting a lot of extra time into trying to work on the things we still have deficits in,” Turner said. “The attitude and effort of this team has been really good and I’ve really enjoyed coaching them.” Game Info

The Racers begin the new season at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8 at the KFC Yum! Center to take on the No. 9 Louisville Cardinals.



November 7, 2019

Gibson looks to bounce back from ACL injury Gage Johnson Sports Editor

With 5:33 left in the Murray State women’s basketball game against Oakland City on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, freshman forward Macie Gibson secured a rebound and landed awkwardly, ending her season before it had truly even started. This was Gibson’s third game with the Racers, coming off a senior season in which she was named a Miss Kentucky Basketball finalist after leading the state in scoring (31.2 ppg) and rebounding (17.2 rpg). Gibson finished her high school career with 3,169 points and 1,700 rebounds. Gibson had scored eight points and snagged two rebounds off the bench, but the last rebound was the last stat she recorded in the 2018-19 season. Gibson recalls the moment every now and then, making her sick to her stomach just thinking about it. A few days after being injured, Gibson had an MRI and found out that it’d be quite some time before she took the floor again because of a torn ACL. “It put me in shock,” Gibson said. “Whenever I got my MRI and coach told me [the results] it just brought me to tears. It was devastating for me because I work so hard and I was just getting

Gage Johnson/The News Freshman Macie Gibson plays defense against Lindsey Wilson College.State against Georgetown College.

comfortable with the pace of college basketball and then it just kind of hit me in the face.” After being given redshirt status, the long road to recovery began for Gibson. She spent the next year with a brace, working on as much as she could and strengthening her right leg with the help of Assistant Athletic Trainer Matthew Johnson. The recovery process was extremely difficult physically, but became more of a mentally-taxing process for Gibson. “It was very difficult,” Gibson said. “All of it was very mental for me. Going into rehab every day—it was like three hours a day—I had to know what I was doing was to get back to my full strength again. I had to take everything very serious and work hard to get back to where I was.”

Meanwhile, the Racers were having one of the best seasons in recent memory. Murray State had won seven of its last 10 games to earn the sixth seed in the OVC Tournament. While she certainly doesn’t wish injury upon any of her players, Head Coach Rechelle Turner actually thought having the time to sit back and watch wasn’t a bad thing for Gibson. “I think it was good for her to be honest,” Turner said. “There were a lot of times she was frustrated last year because she saw maybe a lack of effort or a lack of communication and she would make comments about it. I said ‘you need to remember that when you get back in there, and that should fuel your fire to get back and want to be better when you do get back.’”

Being one of the tallest players on the team and one of the few bigs that Murray State has, Gibson has taken on the challenge of learning how to play both spots in the frontcourt. “It’s going to be a learning curve for me to play the four and the five,” Gibson said. “I’m a little hesitant at the five, but I’m working to get better at it and I can shoot so I think that’ll help a little bit.” Turner knows it will take some time after a major injury like Gibson’s, but believes just as much as Gibson does that she can be a crucial player for the Racers in the upcoming season. “She’s not 100 percent by any means, but every single week that passes by she progresses more and more,” Turner said. “She’s going to

be a big part of our offense. She can do a lot of things. She gives us a little extra height and muscle on the inside, but she may be the best shooter that we have on this team.” Her ability to stretch the floor with her lightning-fast release is something Turner thinks will cause a lot of problems for opponents this season. “It barely touches her fingers and it’s gone,” Turner said. “She definitely is going to be a mismatch for certain people because they’re going to have to guard her out on the perimeter and then they’re going to have to box her out on the inside. So depending on who’s guarding her, I think she can take advantage of that.” Gibson will begin the season with a brace, but the goal is for her to be able to play without it come conference play. While many might think Gibson wants to show everyone what she can do after sitting out a year, her only goals are to follow the “We over Me” slogan Turner has instilled in the team and rack up the wins for the Racers. “I want to make a big impact,” Gibson said. “I want to win, so I will do anything for us to win. I’d like to win more games than we did last year and I’d like to move up the ladder to get higher than eighth and get to the tournament.”

Smith poised for big senior year Simon Elfrink Staff Writer

After playing only five games last year due to an ankle injury, senior Anthony Smith will make his return for a fifth year of college basketball. The 6-foot-7-inches forward was unable to finish last season after he injured his ankle on Dec. 4, 2018. He had a solid start before the injury, averaging 7.6 ppg and leading the Racers in rebounds at that time. His rebounding performance was nationally ranked, thanks in part to a 10-board opening game. Now, Smith has been cleared for play. The question of his health is not one he is concerned with; he is just eager to get back on the floor and play with the same intensity he always has. “ I ’ m p re t t y m u c h t h e same Anthony,” Smith said. “The junkyard dog I’m soon to be, playing aggressively at all spots on the floor and just being more hungry.

[I’m] taking every chance that I have on the floor to be better.” Head Coach Matt McMahon was pleased to have one of his big men back, especially given his experience with the team. “He’s been fantastic,” McMahon said. “He’s really the only player off our 2018 NCAA tournament team that played significant minutes. Having him back—his energy level, his consistency on a daily basis—I think really has set a tone for how hard our players need to work.” Going into his fifth year w i t h t h e R a c e rs , S m i t h i s m o re t h a n re a d y t o help lead the team to i t s t h i rd - s t r a i g h t OVC Championship. “I’m not perfect,” Smith said. “I don’t make everything. I just try to lead by example and that’s just being a hustle player, being an enforcer on the floor, or being that person everyone goes to when they feel like they’re lacking an answer. That’s what I try to be.” McMahon agreed that S m i t h’ s h e a l t h i s n’ t a

concern right now. All things considered, McMahon is ready for his fifthyear senior to take the floor. “His health is great,” McMahon said. “You wouldn’t have any idea he suffered a ny t y p e o f i n j u r y l a s t season.” Smith’s plan is to compete to the best of his ability, and although good health is never a guarantee, he put confidence in the lengths to which he and his doctors have gone to prevent further injury. “ B re a k i n g m y a n k l e wasn’t the first major injury I’ve had before,” Smith said. “I tore my ACL in high school my senior year, so I’ve had experience not to worry about my injuries after I recover. I was very confident when I stepped on the court that first game to know that any move I made was going to be good.” Smith will get the chance to test his recovery to the fullest alongside his team at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4, at the CFSB Center against Martin Methodist University.

Gage Johnson/The News Senior Anthony Smith is announced as a starter at the CFSB Center


November 7, 2019


‘In number five I trust’

Turley looks to build off of stellar freshman season Gage Johnson Sports Editor

Sophomore guard Macey Turley is becoming a leader and crucial cog in the Murray State women’s basketball program, and Head Coach Rechelle Turner says we’ve yet to see her best basketball. The Murray native broke onto the scene last season, proving any and all doubters wrong about her ability to play at the collegiate level. This came as no surprise to Turner, who is proud of the way Turley came in and proved right away that she’s among the OVC’s elite. “I had no doubt,” Turner said. “The thing that probably made me the proudest last year was that there were some doubters and she went out each and every night and proved that she belongs. We were very fortunate to get her here. If she was two or three inches taller she’d be playing in the SEC without a doubt.” Turley was the third-leading scorer on the team, averaging 13.1 ppg along with a team-leading 4.4 apg. This statline turned her into the OVC Freshman of the Year and a member of the All-OVC Second Team and the OVC All-Newcomer Team. Turley has already racked up another accolade entering this season, earning Preseason All-OVC honors. Considering the amount of responsibility she took on as a freshman for the Racers, Turner’s happy that she’s receiving the recognition she deserves. “Not very many freshmen carried the load that young

lady did last year,” Turner said. “Just being thrown out there playing almost 40 minutes a game, being expected to bring the ball up the floor, score it and if you don’t score it, pass it to someone who can. So, it’s just really good to receive the accolades she deserved, but I’ll be the first to tell you, you haven’t seen her best basketball yet.” Despite her array of awards, Turley isn’t stopping there and is determined that she can improve even more. “Even though Macey was Freshman of the Year, she was disappointed with the way she shot the basketball last year,” Turner said. “She didn’t feel like her numbers were where they needed to be. If she gets to where she knocks down a higher percentage of shots, she really is going to be trouble.” Turner said Turley has made a conscious effort to get in the gym and get up extra shots on the move, off the dribble and off of screens, in order to improve those percentages. “I got with Coach J [Jawuan Scaife] and we really talked about how I can finish around the basket in different ways and just try to create space so I can get my shot off better,” Turley said. Turley also said it’s nice to receive the recognition, but it’s not the main goal she has in mind. “Mainly, I’m just excited to get back to the Ford Center and maybe make a run better than we did last year,” Turley said. Becoming such an integral part of a young team

Macey Turley follows through her jumpshot against Georgetown College.

Macey Turley signs a poster for a young fan at Racer Mania.

has forced Turley into a leadership role, but she’s been more than willing to accept that role. “It’s been kind of tough, but I’m always up for a challenge,” Turley said. “I’m more of a lead by example kind of person, but the coaches have been pushing me to be more vocal. I think I’ve done pretty good so far, but I’m still working on it.” Before joining the Racers, Turley attended Murray High School, playing under Turner for her first three seasons.

During their time together as Murray Tigers, Turley set multiple records while Turner helped coach their team to multiple Region 1 titles. Their relationship was a huge part of bringing Turley to the Racers and the sophomore guard believes their bond has become even stronger in her year at Murray State. “I think it’s grown even more just from this year to last year,” Turley said. “We’re best friends on the court and best friends off the court. It’s just

Gage Johnson/The News

really good to have her coaching me.” Turner has made it clear that she trusts Turley completely with running the team at the point guard position and that it’ll stay that way as she continues her Racer career. “I always have faith in No. 5,” Turner said. “Because I know regardless of what happens, she is going to give 110 percent and she’s going to do everything to help herself and her team do well to win the game.”

Gage Johnson/The News



November 7, 2019

New season, different guards

Racers look to forge new dynamic backcourt

Keaton Faughn Contributing writer

With the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, the Murray State men’s basketball team said goodbye to one of its strongest backcourts in program history, leaving one burning question: who will fill Ja Morant and Shaq Buchanan’s shoes? The backcourt tandem leaves the Racers with 37.5 ppg, 11.7 apg and 3.6 spg to account for. However, to Head Coach Matt McMahon, a promising group of new and returning guards such as sophomore Tevin Brown and senior Jaiveon Eaves will be able to do just that. “We don’t make it about who we have to replace,” McMahon said. “It’s about this is our players, this is our team, how do we build this group into the best team we can be. Two years ago we lose Stark, the best player in our league, also lose Miller, who was the best forward in our league, and we didn’t spend the offseason [saying] ‘how do you replace those guys.’ We said ‘hey, we’ve got Ja and Shaq back; let’s build our team around those two guys.’ We’ll have the same approach to this year’s team.” McMahon is looking to the players that are returning this season for inspiration, players like Brown, Eaves, Darnell Cowart and KJ Williams are just some of those that could have an even bigger impact on the court than last season. McMahon wants to use these players and build the best team around them that he can.

Among the returning guards expected to take a major leap this year is Brown. After sitting out a year due to a leg injury, Brown was the third option behind Morant and Buchanan, averaging 11.8 ppg. McMahon was also pleased at Brown’s ability to play defense at a high level at the guard position. For his efforts last season, Brown was named to the 2019 Preseason All-OVC First Team. Coming into this year, McMahon thinks Brown’s work in the offseason has prepared him to take on a larger role. “Without a doubt Tevin Brown has really separated himself from a consistency standpoint,” McMahon said. “He really impressed me last year, not just [with] his 12 points a game, but he was fantastic at the defensive end of the floor for us and was really a key piece to why our perimeter defense was so good. On top of that, he’s such a smart player—got a great basketball IQ—and he doesn’t make many mistakes out there on the court.” Being a returning player, Brown says that he’s been focusing on showing the new guys on board what needs to be done by being a more outspoken leader. After transferring from John A. Logan College, Eaves joined the Racers in the 2018-19 season seeing about 10 mpg. After shedding 25 pounds, McMahon thinks Eaves is capable of having a much bigger role with this year’s squad. “Jaiveon Eaves has had a tremendous offseason,” McMahon said. “He’s gone from

one of the worst on the team to one of the top 2 on the team [in body fat percentage], and it’s a great credit to him and the time and work he’s invested in that, so I’d like to see him take a big jump this season.” With Brown’s ability to create plays off the dribble improving during the offseason and Eaves’ relentless work over the summer, the returning Racer guards look to make big contributions this season. Junior guard Brion Whitley also returns to the Racers, but will begin the year with a leg injury and no set timetable for a return. The returning guards will be joined by redshirt freshman DaQuan Smith, freshmen Chico Carter Jr., Noah Kamba, Rod Thomas and junior guard Jason Holliday who transferred from Bossier Parish Community College. Chico Carter Jr. is fresh from South Carolina, graduating from Cardinal Newman High School where he averaged 21.8 ppg. Kamba averaged 16 ppg and 13 apg at Dexter Southfield School in Brookline, Massachusetts. Thomas was a superstar in his own right while at Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, Kentucky, averaging 15.2 ppg and 4.2 rpg scoring over 1,600 points during his high school career. Holliday comes to the Racers after playing at Bossier Parish Community College, and during his sophomore season averaged 16.8 ppg and 7.6 rpg.

Gage Johnson/The News

Freshman DaQuan Smith surveys the floor against Martin Methodist College.

Redshirt freshman Daquan Smith dealt with an injury for the majority of last year, seeing only 13 minutes of playing time and scoring only three points. Before joining the Racers, Smith helped lead Holly Springs High School to a second-place finish in Mississippi’s 2A tournament, scoring 26.3 points per game as well as hauling in 7.3 rebounds for his senior season. Ultimately, this newfound depth for the Racers will be extremely helpful in their hunt for a third-straight OVC Championship. “I feel like we definitely have a deeper team this year,” Brown said. “We have people that have been here

that know what it takes and then we have people here that are coming in and being shown what it takes.” As far as dividing up playing time between players, McMahon says it’s a good problem to have, but that the players ultimately determine who plays, and he is confident that it will work itself out. “Guys just need to stay focused on getting better each day and build relationships with our team,” McMahon said. The Murray State men’s basketball team will officially kick off the regular season at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, hosting Southern University at the CFSB Center.

2019-20 Guards

Tevin Brown

Chico Carter Jr.

Jaiveon Eaves

Jason Holliday

Noah Kamba

DaQuan Smith

Rod Thomas

Brion Whitley


November 7, 2019


Gage Johnson/The News

Sadie Hill plays defense against Georgetown College.

Racers look to replace top-two scorers Nick Kendall Staff Writer

While the Murray State women’s basketball program took a step forward last season, it will face the tough challenge of replacing its toptwo scorers from a season ago with a young squad. Now a redshirt senior, former Racer forward Evelyn Adebayo transferred to play for perennial college basketball powerhouse University of Connecticut. Adebayo played one year at Murray State and started in all 30 games. She led the team in scoring with 18.2 ppg, and in rebounds, averaging 11.4 per game.

The London, England, native also set a single-season record with 19 double-doubles and tied the Murray State record for consecutive double-doubles with seven. The Racers will also miss out on the output from former junior guard Janika Griffith-Wallace. The Racers’ second leading scorer last season transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University, which finished second last year in the Atlantic 10 conference after finishing 11th the year before. Griffith-Wallace left Murray State averaging 11.7 points per game and 3.8 rebounds per game. Losing two important players is tough, Head Coach

Gage Johnson/The News Laci Hawthorne is introduced as a starter against Georgetown College.

Rechelle Turner admits, but she believes her newcomers and transfers will be able to fill the void. “Everybody wants to talk about who left and we’re not focused on that,” Turner said. “We’re focused on the players that want to be at Murray State. Our kids are working hard and we’re going to continue the process every single day.” A player Turner believes can make an impact quickly is redshirt freshman forward Macie Gibson, who has finally recovered from an injury. “We’re gonna have to have her rebounding abilities,” Turner said. “She’s gonna have to push her big body around and give us some physicality but her ability to stretch the defensive offensively is gonna open things up on the inside for [Cekeya] Mack because we’re gonna have to honor Gibson at the three-point line. She is one of our purest shooters. She is gonna bring a lot of bigs out on the floor.” Turner also credits sophomore guard Macey Turley for being named to the Preseason All-OVC First Team. “Not many freshmen carry the load that young lady carried last year,” Turner said. “Just being thrown out there playing almost 40 minutes a game and being expected to bring the ball up the floor. It’s just really good to see her receive the accolade that she deserved.” Turner expects Turley to have a better season because according to the thirdyear head coach despite her

winning OVC Freshman of the Year last season, the sophomore guard still thinks she could’ve played better. “Her percentages last year in shooting were not what she’s capable of doing,” Turner said. “I know those are going to get better. In just a year of experience and getting used to the speed of the game and to understand new ways to attack—I think she’ll have an even better year.” In terms of culture, nothing has changed. Turner still has the team focused on working as a unit and bringing success to the whole program. “The chemistry is as good as it’s ever been,” Turner said. “This bunch has really bought in on the ‘We over Me’ that we really stress. This is probably the hardest-working team I’ve had since I’ve been here.” A rebuild for any team is difficult, but Turner is ready and even excited, as she is known for not backing down from a challenge. “We’re continuing to build,” Turner said. “We knew it was gonna take some time and I feel like we’re gonna take another step forward this year, and we’re really excited about our 2020 recruiting class and excited about the players we’re going after in the future.” Turner drives home that if her team works hard and plays for each other, good things will happen. Leadership is paramount for a young team like the Racers. Turley and senior forward Cekeya Mack have taken on that role for the most part, but

Turner believes everyone can be a leader in their own way. “We have some kids who have stepped up verbally and have said ‘hey, this isn’t how we do things, this is how we do things,’” Turner said. “I think leaders come in all shapes and sizes—some are verbal and some lead by example.” Seeing Mack finally have the opportunity to play a bigger role on the team is also important for Turner. “Mack didn’t play a whole lot of minutes last year because she played behind Evelyn,” Turner said. “She has an opportunity to go out and prove people wrong about what they think about her.” Turner definitely knows the team has more depth than last year, but for the Racers to outperform themselves from last season, she also knows that defense will have to be a main focal point. She wants to limit the amount of opportunities they give other teams. “We call them ‘gifts,’” Turner said. “We have to limit the amount of gifts we give other teams each game. I think shooting the basketball well is gonna be a must. Being able to team-rebound because of our size and the 50/50 balls, just the little things.” While losing two great players, this young Murray State team has gained a lot more in terms of personal and physical growth. An experienced point guard, key players back from injuries and immense depth will help the Racers try to reach new heights.



November 7, 2019

Brown looking for a big sophomore season Gage Johnson Sports Editor

Following a successful freshman season, sophomore guard Tevin Brown is looking to build on his scoring capabilities to become the primary scorer at the guard position for the Racers. After being given redshirt status and sitting out a year, Brown joined the Murray State men’s basketball team and became the third option behind now Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant and Memphis Hustle guard Shaq Buchanan. Brown certified himself as a threat from beyond the arc, while becoming a solid defensive anchor on the wings for the Racers. Brown led the team in three-point percentage (37.2%), drilling 90-242 threes. H is most i mpressive game of the season came against UT Martin, in which he scored 31 points, converting 9-for-14 threes to tie the Murray State single-game record. Overall, Brown averaged 11.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 2.3 apg, while scoring in double figures in 18 games in his first season with the Racers. His efforts earned him a spot on the Preseason AllOVC First Team alongside Murray State senior forward Darnell Cowart. Along with many in the OVC, Head Coach Matt

McMahon said he expects Brown to take a big jump this season and that his work in the offseason has him more than ready to do so. “Without a doubt Tevin Brown has really separated himself from a consistency standpoint,” McMahon said. “He really impressed me last year, not just [with] his 12 points a game, but he was fantastic at the defensive end of the floor for us and was really a key piece to why our perimeter defense was so good. On top of that, he’s such a smart player— got a great basketball IQ—and he doesn’t make many mistakes out there on the court.” Over the summer, the Racers made a trip to the Bahamas to play three exhibition games against the Bahamas Select, Commonwealth Bank Giants and Abaco Elite. In those three games, Brown seemed to be taking that jump that McMahon wants from his sophomore guard. “I think if you look especially at the production in the Bahamas you have to look at Tevin Brown,” McMahon said. “Down in the Bahamas he averaged 22 ppg in 22 minutes, shot the ball off the charts and really impacted the game at both ends of the floor. I expect him to continue that.” Along with his abilities on the cou rt, McMa hon wanted Brown to take on

Gage Johnson/The News Sophomore Tevin Brown looks to feed the post against Marquette in the NCAA Tournament.

the role of a leader on the team, and Brown has taken that challenge head on. “[I’m] just being able to help bring the new guys along to what we have to get done,” Brown said. “Basically, just being a more vocal leader to everyone on the team.” While Brown was labeled by many as a three-point shooter, his play and statistics show that he impacts the game tremendously on both ends of the floor. “I ta ke pr ide i n t hat [defense] more than I do

anything else,” Brown said. “I feel like I rebound pretty well and I’m pretty smart with the ball. I don’t have many turnovers, so me assisting in getting the ball to the right guys will definitely help [us this season].” Murray State was predicted to place second in the Preseason OVC poll, but Brown and the team aren’t batting an eye at it. “Preseason polls don’t rea lly mea n a nyth i ng,” Brown said. “It’s just people putting together their thoughts. So, it just goes

right over our heads. We just prepare the same way and play to win.” At the end of the day, Brown and company are working toward a thirdstraight OVC Championship, in spite of polls that suggest otherwise for the upcoming season. The Racers will begin their journey to back-toback-to-back OVC Championships when they open up the regular season against Southern University at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the CFSB Center.

Gage Johnson/The News


November 7, 2019


Mack looks to lead as lone senior Jon Dunning Staff Writer

If you look at the Murray State women’s basketball roster, you will find only one senior out of a group that includes four freshmen, four sophomores and three juniors. That senior is forward Cekeya Mack. As Murray State heads into the 2019-20 season, the young team will look to Mack as a leader. She is arguably the most seasoned member of the women’s basketball squad. Mack discussed how she has approached coming into the leadership role and how she has communicated her experience to her teammates. “Basically, [I] just told them what’s to be expected beforehand,” Mack said. “Don’t take everything lightly and don’t take everything too hard. Just be prepared and expect the unexpected.” Mack also provides a great example to her teammates by practicing hard, even when no one expects it. She invests in extra workouts and practice sessions on her own time. Murray State Head Coach Rechelle Turner recognizes how much effort Mack puts into training and noted how

important that effort is for the team’s success. “She’s put a lot of time in extra workouts,” Turner said. “This team is going to be dictated a lot on the amount of effort that we give, and that starts with her as our senior.” Turner also provided insight into what she thinks motivates Mack to train hard and be the best player she can be. “I think Mack sees the opportunity in front of her, and you know, that makes you continue to want to push and want to get better,” Turner said. “I think the opportunity for playing time being in front of her is one thing that drives her.” Mack, who is from Albany, Georgia, joined Murray State during the 2018-19 season after playing for Albany Tech University. According to Mack, she decided to transfer to Murray State because she felt ready to leave home. However, she found that transition to be difficult because it put distance between her and her family. “I’m so big on family and my nieces,” Mack said. “That was my world, so it was hard. I kind of chose Murray because it felt like back home. And, [Murray is] very family-oriented. I’m big on family, and that’s what Murray is.”

Mack also described how she has built her relationships with Turner and her teammates during her two years at Murray State. “It was hard at first because I’m not the easiest person to open up to anybody,” Mack said. “Over time it progressed and developed.” Since then, Mack has come into her own with the Racers. During the 2018-19 season, Mack led Murray State in blocks with 20 and shot 55.1 percent from the floor. She played in 30 games with three starts. Turner believes that since joining the team, Mack has grown as a person and leader and is continuing to develop her leadership skills. “She’s a totally different kid than when she first got here,” Turner said. “She’s really opened up; she’s really bought into what we’re doing. You know, she has bought into this captain title. Sometimes she still is trying to learn how to be the leader that she needs to be, but I think she enjoys the opportunity to be that leader and I know when she’s going hard and when she’s working hard, our players respect that.” Turner said Mack’s ability to control the game in the paint will be crucial for the Racers

Gage Johnson/The News Senior Cekeya Mack drives toward the rim for a layup in transition.

and that her work since last season has prepared her well for the upcoming season. “Well, you know Mack, she’s very strong, so she has the ability to score around the basket, and sometimes she gets in a hurry,” Turner said. “She slows down, she keeps it simple, she’s tough to guard, she’s a good rebounder, she’s got good hands. Those are things that she’s continued to improve on and those are things that we are going to need her to do to be successful. We are going to need her to rebound the basketball and we are going to need her to

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score in the paint to help open up things on the outside.” As Mack heads into her last season with Murray State, she expects her team can do big things this year. “I think we can go pretty far,” Mack said. “If we all buckle down and put our minds to it and don’t let nobody steer us from what we got, then we can go as far as we choose to.” Mack and the Murray State women’s basketball team start the 2019-20 season Friday, Nov. 8, at 6 p.m. against the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky.

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November 7, 2019

Racers continue to build post presence Simon Elfrink Staff Writer

With the 2019-20 college basketball season only days away, the Murray State men’s basketball team looks to continue its progress from last season in establishing a solid post presence for the upcoming season. While finding a way to patch the hole in the absence of recently-drafted sophomore guard Ja Morant is a challenge on its own, the Racers’ frontcourt has an entirely different dilemma: The number of posts who have proven themselves eligible to play valuable minutes this season. “It’s a good problem to have,” Head Coach Matt McMahon said. “I think a lot’s still to be determined. I think ultimately the players determine who plays. Either their commitment on a daily basis [or] their production in practice. Do they make the people around them better? I’m confident those things will work themselves out and who earns the minutes will play out as the season goes on.” Throwing their horseshoes in the ring are incoming freshmen Demond Robinson and Matt Smith. Returning to the Racer post game are junior Devin Gilmore, sophomore KJ Williams, senior Darnell Cowart and fifth-year senior Anthony Smith. Anthony brings experience to the frontcourt in his fifth season of college basketball, coming back after his last season was cut short due to injury. Before the injury, he

KJ Williams leads the fastbreak against Florida State in the NCAA Tournament.

averaged 7.6 ppg and 5 rpg. Now that he’s made a full recovery, it looks like he’ll be an integral part of the lineup once again. “Anthony really attacked the surgery and rehabilitation process the way he attacks every workout, every practice,” McMahon said. “He only knows one speed, and that’s all out. He’s made a great recovery. I think our team greatly benefits from his leadership and his toughness back for his fifth year.” Smith wasn’t the only forward who battled an injury. Cowart also suffered from a knee injury. With Cowart back in good health, he’s made his way into the

forefront of the post conversation. Toward the end of last season, Cowart added valuable minutes for the Racers. After making his first start in the 22nd game of the season, he was integrated into the starting lineup for the remainder of the season. Cowart averaged double figures for the Racers at 10.3 ppg. He was also an invaluable rebounder with 6.5 rpg. “Darnell is working his way back into practice,” McMahon said. “He’s doing well. It’s just a matter right now of continuing to build his conditioning back to the level he got to, which was a guy who was playing 34 minutes a game when the season was

Gage Johnson/The News

on the line. So that’ll take some time, but we’re going to be patient and let him work his way back.” Williams was a significant rebounder last season, snagging 4.7 rpg. He also added 7.6 ppg, shooting nearly 70 percent from the field. Williams anticipates contributing even more this season. Although he plans to keep his game around the basket, where he excelled last season, he plans on extending his range a little as well. The new three-point line has freed up just enough room inside for posts like him to take advantage. “It’s provided more space,” Williams said. “You can catch

the ball out wider. We have more space to cooperate.” Williams’ greatest focus in the months leading up to the season was conditioning. He, like several other Racers, lost significant amounts of body fat during the first weeks of practice. Now that opening day is fast approaching, he’s directed his attention to the fundamentals of his game, especially mid-range and finishing around the basket. Gilmore also found his way into the rotation off the bench last season after being upset with his original role to start the year, becoming a sparkplug for the Racers. “Coach put some trust in me to perform and that has been reassuring,” Gilmore said. “I was surprised at first at my role, but all year my goal has been to increase that. It was frustrating at first, but I had my mom and my coaching staff in my ear encouraging me to stay consistent.” And consistent he was. After Jan. 26, Gilmore provided 14.1 mpg off the bench for the Racers and his athleticism and ability to defend around the rim was a crucial factor to fastbreak buckets for Murray State. Regardless of who claims the minutes when the season arrives, Smith summed up what he expects from himself and the other bigs on the team. “We’re just going to continue to battle,” Smith said. “Whoever’s not called out [to start] at that four and five better be ready to come off the bench.”

Darnell Cowart

KJ Williams

Anthony Smith

Devin Gilmore

Demond Robinson

Matt Smith


November 7, 2019


Racers rout Martin Methodist College Gage Johnson Sports Editor

Murray State men’s basketball kicked off the year with a 105-64 victory over Martin Methodist College, in large part due to five players scoring in double figures and dominant play inside. After trailing the RedHawks 6-3 to start the game, the Racers kicked the intensity up a notch. This led to a 17-0 run filled with a barrage of threes from sophomore guard Tevin Brown, ultimately giving Murray State a 21-6 lead with 14 minutes to play in the first half. Murray State continued to pour it on offensively. Heading into halftime with 51-28, the trio of sophomore forward KJ Williams, Brown and senior guard Jaiveon Eaves combined for 34 of Murray State’s 51 points. Brown finished the night with 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting, including 4-for-5 from three. Eaves followed up his fellow guard with 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting with a pair of triples. Williams finished the night leading all scorers with 20 points on 9-for-17 shooting, falling one rebound shy of a double-double. Williams was the definition of efficiency last season, converting on nearly 70% of his field goal attempts, but averaging 7.6 ppg. Williams said he plans to change that to help the team this season. “I’m going to try to help the team scoring-wise,” Williams

said. “Last year, I was more like a dump down guy. I was scoring, but not as much. So this year, there’s a big emphasis on me to score more.” While it may not necessarily be the game plan for Williams to take such a high volume of shots, if he’s got that many open looks, Head Coach Matt McMahon wants him to take them. “If he gets good shots, I want him shooting as many as he can,” McMahon said. “I thought he missed some around the goal that he will normally make. I thought he did a really nice job of doing his work without the basketball to get good position in the post. I want him shooting the ball every time he can in there.” Murray State continued to fill up the stat sheet offensively, using 28 team assists to outscore the RedHawks 54-36 in the second half. With 56 points in the paint, the Racers closed out the night by claiming a 105-64 victory with a thunderous windmill dunk from freshman forward Demond Robinson moments before the buzzer sounded. Along with Williams, senior forward Anthony Smith and Robinson helped forge a dynamic presence in the paint. Anthony finished with 15 points and nine rebounds in his first game since returning from an ankle injury that had him miss all of 2018-19. Robinson exploded late in the second half, scoring 11 straight points for the Racers in his first game with the team. He finished the night with 16

points on 7-for-9 shooting and five rebounds. “Demond’s going to be a really good player,” McMahon said. “I think you saw his ability to finish plays around the basket and to impact shots around the goal with his length. I’m really excited about his longterm future, but also the shortterm in his ability to impact our team.” Redshirt freshman guard DaQuan Smith saw his first action after sitting out the 201819 season with a leg injury. He got the starting nod at the point guard position and scored six points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists. Both Anthony and DaQuan sat out last season, spending a lot of time together on the sidelines rooting for their guys. For those two it was a day full of excitement to get to hit the hardwood again. “We were talking earlier today and I was just happy for him, just as much as I was happy for me to get back on the floor,” Anthony Smith said. “Just being able to see him back in action right along with myself was a good experience.” The team was without senior forward Darnell Cowart, who was voted the Preseason AllOVC First Team. McMahon said he is progressing well in his rehab, but doesn’t have a timetable for his return. Murray State will begin its regular season when it takes on Southern University at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the CFSB Center.

Mackenzie O’Donley/The News Senior Anthony Smith lays the ball in against Martin Methodist College.



Southern U. AT Nov. 9 Tennessee 7 PM Nov. 12 8 PM



Gulf Coast Brescia AT VS Showcase Nov. 16 7:30 PM Southern IL Nov. 25-27 MO State Dec. 3 Nov. 19 TBA 7 PM 7 PM

VS Cumberland Dec. 28 UT Martin Jan. 2 7 PM 7 PM

VS SEMO Jan. 4 7 PM

AT JSU Jan. 9 8 PM




AT TN Tech AT Jan. 11 7:30 PM

MTU Dec. 7 7 PM

AT UT Martin Jan. 16 7:30 PM

AT Kennesaw Dec. 16 7 PM

AT SEMO Jan. 18 2 PM

Evansville Dec. 21 6 PM

VS Belmont Jan. 23 3 PM

VS TSU Jan. 25 5 PM

OVC VS AT VS AT AT AT AT VS VS VS Tournament APSU APSU Morehead EIU EIU SIUE Belmont TSU SIUE EKU March 4-7 Jan. 30 Feb. 1 Feb. 6 Feb. 8 Feb. 13 Feb. 15 Feb. 20 Feb. 22 Feb. 27 Feb. 29 TBA 5 PM 2 PM 5:15 PM 4:30 PM 5 PM 5 PM 5PM 11 AM 5:30 PM 5 PM kChloe Cannon/The News



November 7, 2019

Racers oust Tigers in exhibition game

Freshman Jentri Worley shoots a jumpshot against Georgetown College.

Gage Johnson Sports Editor

Gage Johnson/The News

With the help of senior forward Cekeya Mack and junior forward Laci Hawthorne’s double-double performances, Murray State women’s basketball defeated Georgetown College 83-36. The Racers got things going with a hot start from Hawthorne right out of the gate. Hawthorne got the starting nod in her first game with Murray State and had six points to go along with four rebounds to help the Racers to a 15-7 first-quarter lead. Hawthorne ended the night leading all scorers with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Head Coach Rechelle Turner said her energetic play and athleticism will be a huge asset to the team going forward. “She never stops,” Turner said. “She’s always around the ball. If she’s not getting an offensive board, she’s right there. She plays that hard all the time and that energy is infectious. With her effort alone she gets things done, but then she has ability and skill that allows her to do other things as well.” The Racers ramped up their efficiency in the second quarter, going 11-for-18, including an 8-0 run which sent Murray State to the locker room with a 41-23 lead. The second half was much the same, with Turner and company coasting to an 82-36 victory. The Racers had five players in double figures in Hawthorne, sophomore guard Macey Turley (12 points), freshman

forward Macie Gibson (11 points), senior forward Cekeya Mack (10 points) and freshman guard Jentri Worley. As much as the offense was run through Turley, it was evident that the team wants to take some of the large workload she carried last season away, and Turner thinks they have the depth to do it. “We want to be able to put her [Turley] in the position to where she doesn’t have to have the ball in her hands for 40 minutes,” Turner said. “Jentri is a freshman, but she came in tonight and proved she can run the team, and that’s what we expect from her. We do have other people that can get the ball down the floor. We want to play fast. We want to take the first best shot and we feel like we have kids that can make those shots.” The team also let it fly from beyond the arc, shooting 9-for30. Turner said while they may not all have went in, she wants her team taking those shots as it will be a crucial part of their offense. “I think that [three-point shooting] has to be one of our weapons because we have that ability,” Turner said. “We’re not going to just kill people on the inside just yet, so we’re going to have to take advantage of those opportunities. I think getting the three-ball up is going to be something we look to do quite a bit.” Murray State will hit the road to open up the regular season, taking on the No. 9 ranked University of Louisville at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8, at the KFC Yum! Center.

kChloe Cannon/The News

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The Murray State News  

Nov. 7, 2019--complete paper

The Murray State News  

Nov. 7, 2019--complete paper