Women’s basketball team off to 1-5 start

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

The Eastern women’s basketball team has lost five in a row after winning the season opener in Lantz Arena to make its record 1-5.

For the first 12 games of the season the Panthers are playing non-conference games. They will open up Ohio Valley Conference play on New Years Eve in Cookeville, Tenn. to take on Tennessee Tech.

Eastern won an overtime thriller against Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis to open the season Nov. 13, 77-71.

The Panthers trailed the Jaguars for a majority of the game. IUPUI had a 36-27 lead at the half and Eastern still trailed at the end of the third 52-45.

The fourth quarter was all Eastern. The Panthers out-scored the Jaguars 23-16 and had a 68-65 lead with less than five seconds left.

IUPUI hit a buzzer beater 3-pointer to send the game to overtime. Overtime was also all Panthers. Eastern out-scored the Jaguars 9-3 to grab the 77-71 win.

Friday the 13th did not turn out to be filled with bad luck, but the games since than have had some bad luck. Eastern has not won a game since the exciting overtime season opener.

After the win, the Panthers have lost to Memphis, Loyola-Chicago, Indiana State, Northern Illinois and Saint Louis.

Junior forward Erica Brown is the Panthers’ leading scorer through the first six games with 70 points. Brown has averaged 11.7 points per game. Brown also leads with 44 rebounds, averaging 7.3 per game.
Brown is shooting 45 percent from the field. She is also shooting 90.9 percent from the free-throw line, 10-11.

Red-shirt senior guard Shakita Cox has hit 19-23 from the line.

Cox is right behind Brown with 66 points and an average of 11 points per game. Cox also leads the team with 14 steals through six games.

Sophomore guard Grace Lennox is the team’s assist leader with 29 through the first six games.

Senior guard Alece Shumpert is the Panthers’ leader in 3-pointers. Shumpert is 10-39 from beyond the arc. Cox has the highest percentage of 33 percent, 7-21, from beyond the arc.

The Panthers’ next opponent will be Western Illinois. Eastern will host the Leathernecks Wednesday.

Before starting OVC play on New Years Eve the Panthers will take on Omaha, Milwaukee, Stetson, Cincinnati and Illinois-Chicago.

A lot of the teams the Panthers are playing to start the season before OVC play are a tough competition. Coach Debbie Black said playing the tough competition will help them once they hit the conference games that will count.

Each of the team’s they are playing now all show different styles of play, which will help them in the OVC play and reach their ultimate goal, conference championship.


Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]