Women’s basketball loses six over break

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

While the rest of the Eastern students were on break, the women’s basketball team’s season continued into conference play.

The Panthers lost all six games over break adding to their 15-game losing streak. Eastern wrapped up the non-conference portion of its schedule with losses to Cincinnati and Illinois-Chicago on Dec. 20 and Dec. 28.

Redshirt senior guard Shakita Cox led Eastern’s scorers in both games with 10 points against Cincinnati and 17 points against Illinois-Chicago. Junior forward Erica Brown also had 10 points against Cincinnati.

Eastern outscored Cincinnati 16-4 in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to erase a 25-point deficit.

The Panthers started conference play against Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Tenn. on New Years Eve with an 81-74 loss. It was the same when the new year started as Eastern’s losing streak continued with a 60-52 loss to Jacksonville State.

Sophomore guard Grace Lennox recorded 40 minutes and scored 18 points while dishing out seven assists in the loss to Tennessee Tech. Junior guard Phylicia Johnson scored 14 points in the game.

Eastern was unable to get back on track on Jan. 6 against Tennessee State as its losing streak reached five straight for the winter break and 14 for the season.

The Panthers celebrated kids day and did not come out with a win while the middle school kids were in attendance. Lennox led Eastern’s scorers with 15 points and five assists. She also recorded a season best five steals.

Tennessee State out-rebounded Eastern 57-33 with four players in double-digit rebounds.

Although the Panthers lost the game, they did hold a 17-9 lead midway through the second quarter and a 28-27 lead at the end of the half. Eastern came out strong in the second half jumping to a 33-27 lead after a three-pointer from Cox, a steal by Lennox and a layup by Brown. Tennessee State went on a 7-2 run to tie the game at 35.

The Tigers held the lead for the remainder of the game as the Panthers were hit with cold shooting at just 16.7 percent in the third quarter.

The losing streak hit 15 games following an 89-61 loss to Belmont on Saturday. The Bruins had six different players in double-digit scoring, while the Panthers had just three.

Belmont started the game with a12-0 run putting Eastern in a deep hole. Belmont had a 54-23 lead at the end of the first half not allowing Eastern to get back into the game.

Big leads were a consistent trend throughout the game as the Bruins scored 30 points in the first quarter compared to Eastern’s 13.

The Panthers have fallen to 1-15 record for the season and are currently riding a 15-game losing streak. They are also 0-4 in conference play.


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