(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University women's basketball team hosted Penn State Behrend in its final non-conference game of the season on Friday, December 30. The 12th-ranked Tartans topped the Lions, 85-61, to run its record to 11-0 behind two double-double performances and a career rebounding record for senior Lisa Murphy.
Murphy hauled in 12 rebounds for the game, needing only nine to top the Carnegie Mellon career rebounding chart and has 937 for her career. She also scored 29 points for her seventh double-double of the season and fifth straight. Joining her with a double-double was freshman Katharine Higgins with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tartans opened the game with a 9-0 run started by a three-pointer by junior Anna Novak on the opening possession. As a team, the Tartans have struggled from behind the arc this season, shooting just 26.6% through 10 games. However, with 2:22 to play in the first quarter, the Tartans had run their lead to 14 points, 24-10, on the team's third three-pointer in four attempts.
The first quarter ended with the Tartans ahead 27-16 behind 11 points from Murphy and six from Novak. While the Tartans made 2-of-10 from the field in the first 4:11 of the second quarter, they still led by 14 points as the Lions connected on just one shot in eight attempts.
Murphy hit back-to-back buckets inside to spark five straight from the field for the Cardinal and Gray including a three-pointer by junior Zoe Zawisa that gave the Tartans their largest lead of the half at 20 points, 41-21, with 3:20 to play.
The Lions rallied in the final three minutes of the half with a 12-5 run to cut the deficit to 13 points, 46-33, heading into the locker room.
A strong third quarter pushed the lead up to 27 points on two occasions for the Tartans including at the quarter break after a made layup by freshman Megan Jaeb.
The advantage for the Tartans dipped below 20 points twice in the fourth quarter before they finished with the 24-point victory.
Carnegie Mellon finished the game shooting just above its season average of 46.5% with a 47.6% showing, including a 7-of-14 performance from long range, the best of the season for the Tartans. Freshman Makayla Filiere and Novak also scored in the double figures for the Tartans with 11 and 10 points apiece, while Zawisa tied her season-best with nine points. Sophomore Jenn Mayberger dished out a season-best eight assists with Novak tying a career-best with six assists.
The Tartans will now turn to the University Athletic Association (UAA) season with a home game against Case Western Reserve University (7-3) on Saturday, January 7 at 3:00 p.m.