The Racers added on to a now six game winning streak and ended the non-conference schedule with a 69-56 victory over the University of New Orleans on Wednesday.
The win put Murray State (15-7, 7-3 OVC) at an 8-4 non-conference final record, its best since the 2007-08 season.
Senior guard Mariah Robinson led the team with a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds, resulting in her second consecutive double-double and fourth of the season. Her performance exceed her season average of 17.5 points.
The Racers started with a strong run in the first half and never looked back, leading by as much as 23 with 3:56 left before the buzzer.
In a rushed attempt to take the lead the Privateers left the court on an 11-0 run, including three consecutive 3-point shots.
Returning for the second half, UNO stepped up to a comparable pace with the Racers, cutting the lead to eight.
Though the energy levels changed immensely from the first half for the Privateers, Murray State kept a firm hold on the lead.
The Racers more than doubled their offensive momentum in the second half, shooting for 64.7 percent from the field and 62.5 percent beyond the arc.
Offensive rebounding was key for Murray State, resulting in 17 second-chance points to secure a strong advantage over a New Orleans team shooting 36 percent.
The Privateers never led. The UNO offense relied mostly on guards Keri Thomas and Mirjam Sipos, who finished the game with 21 and 19 points, respectively. They were the only two players on the roster to finish with double digits in scoring.
In an attempt to contain an offensively dominant Racer team, four UNO players faced foul trouble early into the second half, forcing them to defend cautiously.
Junior guard Erica Burgess continued to be a bench leader for the Racers, finishing the game with a 10-point contribution.
Junior forward Jessica Winfrey got 10 reboards and two points.
After sitting out for the Austin Peay game due to a minor injury, freshman forward Kelsey Dirks returned to the court to defend the post.
She earned two points, four rebounds, a block and a steal in her 20 minutes of action.
The Racers will continue with their conference schedule when they tip off Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. against Tennessee State at the CFSB Center.
Story by Carly Besser, Staff writer.