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

Panthers concentrate on limiting turnovers

They are back in the cold weather after spending the Thanksgiving holiday in Miami, Fla., and they are struggling as a team with a record of 2-4.

The Eastern women’s basketball team is trying to work out all of the early season kinks before beginning Ohio Valley Conference play Thursday.

One of the major kinks that is worrying head coach Brady Sallee is turnovers.

The Panthers are committed 19 turnovers per game, compared to only committing 16 turnovers last season.

“They’re coming in weird places and a couple players are breaking records with the amount of turnovers we have right now,” Sallee said.

On average, the Panthers are committing one more turnover per game than their opponents. Last year, they won the turnover battle by two per game.

Part of the team’s struggles is that it is allowing opponents easy possessions off of turnovers, Sallee said.

The Panthers are getting outscored this season because of it. Opponents are scoring 69 points per game on the Panthers. Eastern is scoring 65 points in comparison.

The Panthers haven’t played with a good effort for a whole 40 minutes, Sallee said; at least, not enough.

Ta’Kenya Nixon, sophomore guard, who will start her second consecutive game Thursday after missing games with a knee injury, said playing a full 40-minute game is a huge thing the Panthers have to improve.

Nixon said the team has developed a trend to only play well for half of the game.

Playing for a full 40 minutes includes a lot of things, Sallee said.

“When we talk about that it covers a lot of specifics – something as simple as sticking to a defensive game plan for 40 minutes,” Sallee said.

The Panthers haven’t stuck to the game plan, Sallee said, especially when facing adversity.

“Early on, you were seeing a team that as soon as we started to face a little adversity, we wanted to get away from what we were doing and start scrambling,” Sallee said. “That’s not any way to do it.”

This weekend, in Miami, Sallee said the team learned that sticking to a game plan would lead to success.

The Panthers were 1-1 at the Mayfair Hotel & Spa Thanksgiving Tournament, but finished off the tournament with a 72-57 win over Florida Atlantic.

Mariah King, Sophomore forward, had a big game, scoring 21 points.

Sallee said King finally played without fouling, allowing her to play 28 minutes in the game.

“She’s a talent. There are a lot of things she can do, but she can’t do them sitting on the bench,” Sallee said.

Sallee said if King can keep up her production, it will make the team better as a whole.

The Panthers will begin their quest to defend the OVC regular season title against Tennessee State in Lantz Arena, Thursday.

Sallee said the overall talent in the conference has improved this season. He said his team, and last year’s tournament champions, Austin Peay, don’t have great records but they will be good come conference time.

The game against Tennessee State is set to tip-off at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Lantz Arena.

Alex McNamee can be reached at 581-7944 or [email protected]

Panthers concentrate on limiting turnovers

Panthers concentrate on limiting turnovers

Jessica Parker, a freshman guard, passes the ball to a teammate Nov. 14 during the game against Mizzou. The Panthers play Tennessee State Thursday night at home. (Audrey Sawyer


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