Women’s basketball to travel to Omaha

Elias Albert, Staff Report

The Eastern women’s basketball team will travel to 4-2 Omaha in search of its second win of the season on Sunday at 2 pm.

The Panthers will have a chance to end their six-game losing streak, which had dropped their record to 1-6.

Eastern lost 92-69 to Western Wednesday night.

During the game, Eastern never led and faced a double-digit deficit for the majority of the action.

Coach Debbie Black said that, though she is disappointed about the loss, she wants her team to regain focus and move on.

“We’re going to pick out the things that we’ve done well so far,” Black said. “We only have a couple of days to get ready for the next game and we need to focus on ourselves.”

In the loss to Western, Eastern was out-rebounded 50-33, including 20-7 on the offensive glass. Entering the game, Eastern was being out-rebounded 43-35 by its opponents.

Black said she’d like to see improvement in the team’s rebounding numbers, which she said is within their control.

“We need be consistent when it comes to getting rebounds,” Black said. “We need to control what we can control. I think it’s very important for us to improve there.”

Freshman guard Kayla Steward led the team in scoring against Western, with 18 off 8-13 shooting.

Steward has yet to breach the starting lineup, but Black said practice could determine what sort of changes are made.

“When you’ve started the way that we have, changes need to be considered,” Black said. “It may end up being a different chemistry to start the game or someone different coming off the bench.’

Black said changes to the lineup would not be a result of punishment, but instead a strategy for trying to produce with the available personnel.

The Panthers will face an Omaha team that Black said runs a zone defense, something that they have not faced this season.

“I don’t know if it’s going to be good or bad for us,” Black said. “We’ve only played a few possessions against a zone-style defense this year. We have to face it with a zone of our own.”

Omaha has allowed 54.8 points per game this season and is allowing their opponents to shoot just 33 percent from the field.

Black said her team will need to deal with Omaha’s leading scorer, junior forward Mikaela Shaw. She is averaging 17.3 points per game and is hitting more than half of her shot attempts.

Junior forward Erica Brown may have to be a key defender in Eastern’s efforts to defend Shaw.

“She’s (Shaw) a very good forward,” Black said. “I might need Erica (Brown) to step up a bit and try to remain in the game.”

The Omaha offense as a whole is shooting at 41.8 percent and averaging 64.3 points per game.

Eastern will get things underway in Omaha on Sunday at 2 p.m.


Elias Albert can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]