MURRAY, Ky. – Allyssa Decker scored a career-high 20 points Monday as SIUE women's basketball defeated Murray State 73-61 at the CFSB Center.
Decker turned in a strong offensive performance by hitting 8 of 11 shots from the field and connecting on her only three-point attempt. The junior forward also picked up her second career double-double with a team-high 11 rebounds.
"She (Decker) has been a big post presence for us," said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher. "She plays the angles right and knows where to be defensively."
SIUE collected its first weekend sweep of the season. Both wins over Austin Peay Saturday and Murray State Monday were by double digits. The Cougars improved to 5-9 in Ohio Valley Conference play and 9-18 overall.
The loss dropped Murray State to 2-10 in the OVC and 9-15 overall.
"Ashley did a good job of attacking the basket," said Buscher. "She is going to go full throttle as long as she is in the game."
The Cougars led from start to finish, beginning the game with a 13-2 run capped off by a pair of baskets by Decker.
Buscher said the Cougars were successful in taking as much as 24-point lead in the first half because they were not committing many turnovers. The Cougars had just three in the first half.
SIUE also benefitted from its bench that scored 31 points against the Racers. Decker and Tierny Austin, back for her second straight game after being idle four games due to an injury, provided 29 of the 31 bench points.
"There's a big boost when that second line comes into the game," Buscher said.
Janssen Starks led the Racers with 13 points. Jessica Winfrey scored 12 while Taylor Porter added 11. Murray State would make a run on the Cougars in the second half but would only come as close as the final 12-point differential.
Buscher said the Cougars were successful at limiting open three-point shots from the Racers and forcing Murray State into its half-court offense.
SIUE also dominated the boards with a 49-34 advantage.
"We did a good job of limiting their second-chance opportunities," said Buscher.
The Cougars have one more road contest left in the OVC. SIUE travels to Nashville, Tenn., for a 6 p.m. contest Saturday against Tennessee.
SIUE's final home game is Mar. 1 against Eastern Illinois. The game time is 1 p.m., a change from the previous schedule.