Missed layups hurt Panthers in loss

Arnisha+Thomas%2C+a+senior+forward%2C+looks+to+pass+the+ball+in+the+game+Saturday+against+Kansas+City+in+Lantz+Arena.+Thomas+had+four+assist+in+the+game.

Kevin Hall

Arnisha Thomas, a senior forward, looks to pass the ball in the game Saturday against Kansas City in Lantz Arena. Thomas had four assist in the game.

Bob Reynolds, Staff Reporter

The Eastern women’s basketball missed about 15 layups and shot 16-of-66 from the field in its 66-44 loss to Indiana-Purdue University in Indianapolis Tuesday night.

Assistant coach Kim Foley said the Panthers revisited what they did in the game against Kansas City, which was miss layups and free throws.

“I think the good news is we played a good 12-16 minutes in the first half to show what we are capable of,” she said in a postgame press conference. “The problem is we are very young. When we get shots like that and they don’t go, we tend to put our heads down a little bit and things don’t tend to go the way we want them to go. The easiest shot in the game is what we are getting. If we are getting them, now we just have to make them.”

With 9:33 left in the first half, the Panthers were leading 22-11, but were outscored 55-22 for the rest of the game.

During the stretch the Panthers had the lead, Sabina Oroszova scored 10 points.

Foul trouble hurt the Panthers again Tuesday night as Erica Brown was forced to sit on the bench for the majority of the first half and eventually fouled out.

IUPUI closed the first half on a 7-0 run to give them a 32-26 lead.

The Panthers at one point in the game had five true freshmen on the floor and Foley said that is going to have to be the case if they cannot keep their starting five on the floor.

“We are going to have to put people in positions that maybe they are not exactly ready for,” she said. “But they are going to have to be ready. The good news is that we have talent. They are going to have to get ready sooner rather than later.”

In the second half, IUPUI started the half on a 13-2 run to push their lead to 45-28 to put the game out of reach.

Late in the second half down 17 points, Shakita Cox made a 3-point shot and a layup to cut the Panther deficit to 12, but that is as close as they would get in the second half.

Oroszova finished the game with 17 points and 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season on 5-of-18 shooting.

Cox finished the game with eight points on 3-of-9 shooting and Bh’rea Griffin finished with seven points on 3-of-7 shooting.

The Jaguars had three players in double figures including Nevena Markovic, Jenna Gunn and Akilah Sims.

Markovic finished the game with 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting, including making both of her 3-point attempts. Sims and Gunn finished the game with 12 points a piece.

Next up for the Panthers is the North Texas Tournament, where the Panthers will play Florida State on Friday and North Texas on Sunday.

Foley said the Panthers will focus more on themselves rather than the other teams in the next two days.

“It doesn’t matter who were playing if we are doing what we are doing out there,” she said. “We are getting the best shots that we can. When you don’t make layups and you don’t make free throws, you are not going to win many games.”

The Panthers finished the game 9-of-19 from the free throw line.

Bob Reynolds can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]