Skyhawks end Panthers season


Jason Howell

Senior forward Sabina Oroszova looks for an open teammate during the Panthers’ 68-35 loss to Tennessee-Martin in round one of the Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Championship on Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn. Oroszova remained scoreless throughout the entire game.

Bob Reynolds, Sports Editor

NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Senior forward Sabina Oroszova was held scoreless in the Eastern women’s basketball team’s 68-35 loss to Tennessee-Martin in the first round of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.

Oroszova went 0-of-6 from the floor, including two 3-point attempts. 35 points is the least amount of points scored in a game by the Panthers this season.

Eastern coach Debbie Black said the Skyhawks did not do anything different to Oroszova. She just had an off day.

“They didn’t double team her or anything,” she said. “We tried to move her around and get her different looks, because as she goes, we go. We couldn’t get her going today. Sabina is a terrific person and has been huge for our school. It’s just a shame she went out like this.”

Tennessee-Martin coach Kevin McMillan said sophomore forward Ashia Jones did well guarding Oroszova for the majority of the game.

“Oroszova is an unbelievable basketball player,” he said. “For Ashia to do what she did on the offensive end and then asked to turn around and guard her on the defensive end was a chore. Oroszova is so crafty with the ball and was able to beat Ashia a few times, but our guards were defending the ball well enough that EIU couldn’t get it to her.”

Jones, who was named OVC Player of the Year, scored 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the floor, including 10-of-12 from the free throw line.

Jones was just happy her team got the win even with it being her ninth game this season having 30 points or more.

“We have to prepare for Friday’s game now,” she said. “I am excited that we won, but we just have to go. I never look at the scoreboard. I just play hard and if someone tells me that (Oroszova) has zero points then that’s just good for the team.”

The Panthers went on a 13-5 run after Martin opened the game up with a 5-0 lead.

Junior Katie Schubert hit a 3-point shot to give Tennessee-Martin a 14-13 lead.

“I thought that both teams were tight at the beginning of the game,” McMillan said. “Then, I thought Eastern did a really good job for the first 10 minutes. We were struggling to get some rhythm. Katie’s three was the point where the game changed.”

Martin went on a 40-10 run in the next 17 minutes over the course of two halves to go up 51-23 with 13:58 left in the second half. The Panthers were outscored 17-12 for the rest of the game.

Tennessee-Martin shot 42 percent for the game and shot 15-of-20 from the free-throw line. The Panthers shot 28 percent in the game and shot 4-of-17 from 3-point range.

Eastern was out-rebounded 43-30 and had 22 turnovers.

“UT-Martin beat us in every aspect of the game,” Black said. “We kept it close early, but they snuck away and we couldn’t do anything different.”

This is the second year in a row the Panthers were knocked out of the tournament in the first round. The Panthers finish the season 6-12 in OVC play. The 35 points the Panthers scored is the least amount of points they scored this season.

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