SPRINGFIELD — It took time for it to materialize, but with persistence and urgency, the Eureka College women turned a slow start into a 32-point road win over Robert Morris-Springfield.
The Red Devils held the Eagles to single digits in every quarter except for the second en route to a 66-34 non-conference victory Sunday afternoon at the Salvation Army Gymnasium.
EC trailed for most of the first quarter, but the Red Devils regained the lead with 1:19 remaining and never relinquished it. They didn't dominate, and no one ever got particularly hot from the field; they just had to dig in and gradually piece it together, possession by possession.
With the win, Eureka improved to 8-8 on the season. Robert Morris-Springfield fell to 4-12.
Senior Samantha Sarnes (Havana, Ill./Havana) finished with a team-high 12 points on 5 of 12 shooting. Freshman Josie Morgan (Washington, Ill./Washington) went 4-for-8 from the floor and scored 11 points to go with four rebounds.
Freshman Sierrah Seals (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) contributed a team-high 10 rebounds and nine points off the bench, while fellow freshman Olivia Falls (Bloomington, Ill./Bloomington) added nine points and eight rebounds. Junior Ashley Harfst (Saunemin, Ill./Pontiac) had eight and eight.
Eureka was tied with Robert Morris-Springfield at 7-7 with 1:42 left in the first quarter, but a steal and jumper by Morgan in the middle of a 7-3 Red Devils' run put EC back on top.
The Red Devils then extended the lead from five to 14 with a 21-point second quarter. With less than three minutes left in the half, the Eagles came within single digits, but a layup by Harfst and a triple by Morgan made it 35-21 at the break.
EC only conceded 13 points the rest of the way.
Junior guard Kennedy Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield) went scoreless on Sunday, but she contributed six rebounds and four assists, often running the Red Devils' fast break. Freshman Marissa Murphy (Canton, Ill./Canton) registered a career-high five assists off the bench, and pulled down four rebounds.
On a day when jumpers weren't falling, finishing near the rim was crucial. As a team, EC posted 16 points off the fast break to the Eagles' four, and outscored them in the paint 32-22.
The Red Devils (8-8, 3-5) will next host St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic foe Spalding (11-6, 6-2) on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.