EC Runs Away From Blackburn in SLIAC Opener, 84-55

File photo.
File photo.

CARLINVILLE – Marissa Murphy (Canton, Ill./Canton) dropped a career-high 22 points, Kennedy Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield) moved closer to school history and the Eureka women's basketball team took down Blackburn, 84-55, in its St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener on Wednesday evening.

Murphy, a 5-foot-8 sophomore guard, went 8-for-13 from the floor and 4-for-6 from 3-point range, made a career-high six steals and added three rebounds and two assists to complete a strong night off the bench for the Red Devils. Her pervious career high was 11.

Another reserve, freshman Jadyn Mitchell (Flanagan, Ill./Flanagan-Cornel), also went 4-for-6 from beyond the arc and finished with 14 points.

Ashley Harfst (Saunemin, Ill./Pontiac) and Ja'Keesha Hawkins (Peoria, Ill./Peoria) each tallied 11 points, with Harft complementing her scoring with 16 rebounds – tying her career high. Olivia Falls (Bloomington, Ill./Bloomington) and Whitney Bozarth (Normal, Ill./Normal West) each contributed nine points.

Dura, who chipped in with eight points, notched three assists, surpassing her older sister, Kerrigan Dura (2014-2018), for second place in career assists in program history with 395. She's now only 20 behind record holder Molly Hardesty's (2002-2006) 415.

Blackburn stayed with Eureka for the first 10 minutes of play, only trailing by three heading into the second quarter. In the second frame, though, Eureka made five 3s and extended the lead to 16 points.

The Red Devils continued to pull away by shooting 50 percent in the third quarter, then ran away with it in the fourth, leading by as many as 29.

The maroon and gold outrebounded the Beavers 49-37 on the night, racked up 32 points in the paint and converted 30 off turnovers.

It ended as the Red Devils' 17th straight win over Blackburn. With the win, Eureka improved to 4-2 on the season and 1-0 in the SLIAC. The Red Devils will continue league play on Saturday when they take on Principia 0-4, 0-1 SLIAC) on the road at 1 p.m.

On Thurdsay, EC will host Calvary Bible in non-conference play inside Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena and Convocation Center at 7 p.m.