January 28, 2013

Shots don't fall as Tech handed OVC home loss by Murray State


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Senior Mariah Robinson led a balanced scoring effort and helped the Murray State Racers to a 68-52 Ohio Valley Conference women's basketball victory Monday night over Tennessee Tech in Eblen Center.

The Racers (13-7/6-3 OVC) have won four in a row and five of their last six, and are within one game of West Division leader Eastern Illinois. The Golden Eagles (11-10/5-3 OVC) are third in the East Division standings, and heading to division leader Belmont on Saturday.

Shooting troubles doomed Tech, which trailed the entire game after falling behind 9-0 in the opening minutes.

Robinson finished the night with 16 points, one of two Racers in double digits. Erika Sisk added 12 points, while six different players record at least five points in the road victory. Erica Burgess scored none, Tessa Elkins had eight, and Keiona Kirby finished with seven.

Jessica Winfrey led the way on the boards with 14 rebounds, but the Golden Eagles owned a slim, 40-37 advantage overall on the glass.

Diamond Henderson was Tech's lone double-digit scorer with 17 while Jala Harris added nine.  Tech also saw balanced scoring as seven different Golden Eagles scored four or more points.

As deadly as the Golden Eagles were Saturday from long range, they had trouble zeroing in Monday, going 0-for-7 from outside the arc in the first half and 1-for-10 for the game.

The Racers, meanwhile, were filling it up from outside the arc, going 7-for-12 in the first half for 58.3 percent as six different players buried a trey. Murray State finished the game 10-for-18 from long distance for 55.6 percent, a higher mark than inside the arc (16-for-36 for 44.4 percent).

MSU pulled on top 9-0 in the opening minutes, and held a 10-point lead, 12-2, with 12:49 to play in the half.

The Golden Eagles went to work and stitched together a 13-5 run to pull within one point, 17-16, with 7:46 remaining with Molly Heady, Harris and Henderson doing most of the scoring.

But a 3-pointer by Bianca Babic, layup from Robinson and trey by Elkins opened Murray State's lead back to nine. Tech's shooting continued to haunt the Golden Eagles, and the Racers up 35-20 with 3:20 remaining.

Neither team scored again until Kylie Cook's layup beat the halftime buzzer and made it a 13-point difference at the break. Tech missed nine straight shots during the stretch, including four layups.

Only once in the second half did Tech really challenge, pulling to within 10 at 40-30 with 14:21 to play to a layup by Mariah Dean.

Kirby and Robinson each scored quickly after that and the lead was back to 14. Murray maintained a comfortable margin the rest of the way, going up by 20 points twice late in the contest.

The Golden Eagles will play at East Division leader Belmont Saturday, with tipoff in Nashville scheduled for 5 p.m.