The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

King’s career performance key to win

A high-scoring performance by sophomore forward Mariah King helped the Eastern women’s basketball team get its first win in three games Saturday.

King had a career-high 21 points against Florida Atlantic Saturday in the finale of the Mayfair Hotel & Spa Thanksgiving Tournament.

With the FAU leading 53-51 in the second half, King scored 10 consecutive to catapult Eastern to a 61-53 lead. From there, the Panthers kept the lead, improving to 2-4 on the season.

King had six rebounds, while being 9-for-15 from the field.

The Panthers’ three freshmen stepped up coming off the bench to combine for 20 points – all of Eastern’s bench points.

Freshman forward Taryn Olson led the way off the bench with eight points and three rebounds.

Freshman guards Jordyne Crunk and Jessica Parker scored seven and five points, respectively.

Crunk contributed with three assists, while Parker grabbed eight rebounds. Parker played 27 minutes, the third highest total on the team.

Sophomore Sydney Mitchell had a big game, grabbing a team-high 14 rebounds, while only scoring three points.

Sophomore guard Ta’Kenya Nixon got her first start since Nov. 14, in the Panthers’ win against Missouri. Nixon had been nursing a knee injury and was unable to start the last three games.

Nixon notched 10 points, five assists and four rebounds in 24 minutes of play. In the two games Nixon started this season, she played 27 and 38 minutes, respectively.

Before winning Saturday, Eastern lost two close games over Thanksgiving break to Bradley and North Carolina-Greensboro.

Bradley was able to sustain a lead of eight points or more throughout the first half.

Bradley guard Raisa Taylor scored 22 points against the Panthers, as the Braves shot 46 percent from the field compared to 43 percent by Eastern.

The Braves outrebounded Eastern 39-29 as Bradley grabbed 15 offensive rebounds compared to only nine for Eastern.

The 15 offensive boards led to 13 points for Bradley.

The game was a tale of two halves as Bradley outscored Eastern in the first half 41-25; however, Eastern came back to outscore the Braves 47-36 in the second half.

The comeback came up short as Bradley won 77-72.

Against UNC Greensboro, in the first game of the Thanksgiving tournament, Eastern had double-digit leads in both the first and second half; however, Greensboro was able to manage as they won 66-58.

Eastern junior forward Chantelle Pressley notched 15 points and 15 rebounds, but Greensboro’s bench came up big. Greensboro played eight players off the bench compared to only four by Eastern.

Greensboro forward Janae Stevenson played 22 minutes off the bench and notched a double-double. Stevenson scored 14 points and added 10 rebounds.

The Panthers will return home from Coral Gables, Fla. and play a home game Thursday against Tennessee State.

Tip off is set for 5:30 p.m. in Lantz Arena. The game will mark the start of Ohio Valley Conference play for Eastern. The Panthers have five non-conference games remaining this season.

Alex McNamee can be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected]

King’s career performance key to win

Kings career performance key to win

Ta’Kenya Nixon, a sophomore guard, takes the ball up court against Mizzou Nov. 14 in Lantz Arena. The Panthers beat Florida Atlantic Saturday 72-57. (Audrey Sawyer

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