Panthers head to Milwaukee for matinee

Bob Reynolds, Staff Reporter

The Eastern women’s basketball team looks to continue its hot streak against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at noon on Wednesday in Milwaukee.

The Panthers have won their last 3-of-4 games, including a 77-66 win at home against Nebraska-Omaha, where they scored their most points of the season.

Head coach Debbie Black said the confidence level of the team is really high at this point in the season because of the hot streak her team has been on.

“I think they are feeling more comfortable in my system,” she said. “I have a lot of new players that are starting to feel like I am allowing more things. I think the confidence level is much better now than it was at the beginning of the season.”

Milwaukee comes in with a 2-5 record overall and having just lost to Omaha 64-61 on a 3-point buzzer beater shot. Being three games under .500, Black said do not take Milwaukee lightly.

“They are very talented,” she said. “They have a lot of weapons. Everyone can shoot the three on their team. They are going to switch everything. They just came off a loss, which they probably are very disappointed in, so they are going to very focused on this one at home. We are really going to have to be ready to play.”

One of those weapons Black mentioned was Ashley Green, who is averaging 23.3 points a game this season. She is shooting 13-of-25 from the 3-point line and 50 percent from the floor. She also has a 79.1 free throw percentage.

Milwaukee is averaging 67.3 points per game, while allowing 70.4 a game to opponents. In the last game against Omaha, the Panthers were just shy of having six players in double figures, and had 16 assists.

Black said she was impressed with the way her team shared the ball and was able to put points on the board.

“When we share the ball, when we defend, when everyone gets involved, we are a good basketball team,” she said. “I think we are just starting to feel that, so hopefully that continues.”

Eastern forward Sabina Oroszova came out of her slump in the game on Friday.

She scored 19 points and corralled 12 rebounds, and moved into the top 20 in two NCAA statistical categories. She ranks 18th in the nation in rebounds per game with 10.9 and also 18th in double-doubles per game with her fourth of the season coming on Friday.

While struggling to start the season and now returning back to her old form, Black said Oroszova just needs to relax and play the game.

“Now that everyone contributed last game, I think that helps Sabi more,” she said. “It helps, because it makes her feel like the weight is not all on her shoulders. Anytime you can extend the defense, you are playing good basketball.”

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