Racers defeated by Eastern Illinois 73-59

The women’s basketball team drew their second loss since returning to exclusive conference play Saturday against Eastern Illinois.

Led by senior guard Mariah Robinson with 17 points and four rebounds, Murray State struggled offensively when they shot 37.7 percent in field goals and 56 percent behind the free throw line.

Despite the loss, Robinson made another milestone in her collegiate career when she scored her 1,500th point. She became the fourth Racer in history to score 1,500 points and corral 500 rebounds.

Junior forward Jessica Winfrey pulled down a team high 10 rebounds, followed by freshman forward Kelsey Dirks with nine rebounds and eight points.

Both teams struggled coming on the court, with no points on the scoreboard until after 13 consecutive shots were missed.

The EIU Panthers broke the draught with a tip in shot by Sydney Mitchell in the paint. From there, EIU dictated offensively to end the first half with an eight-point advantage.

EIU kept the offense close to the net, with 40 points scored in the paint compared to Murray State’s 20.

Determined to start the second half with momentum, the Racers started with an 11-0 run. Robinson started the stampede with a 3-point shot within the first 20 seconds.

Freshman guard Erika Sisk made quick steals to score in transition. The run tied the Racers and temporarily established a lead until the Panthers retaliated a fast break jumper by guard Mariah King.

King went on to lead Eastern Illinois with 21 points and nine rebounds. She was one of three other Panthers to break double digits in scoring.

After retaining the lead, EIU continued to assert their position by extending the lead to double digits. The Racers were heavily outrebounded, coming short 51-32 , including 20-10 in offensive rebounds.

The Panthers never looked back, snagging a 73-59 victory to avenge a 10-point loss against Murray State in late January.

The Racers will tip off next against SIU Edwardsville at 7 p.m. on Feb. 18 in Edwardsville, Ill.

 Story by Carly Besser, Staff writer.