Women’s basketball loses 18th straight

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

The Eastern women’s basketball team came out flat from the start as they lost its 18th straight game to conference opponent UT Martin Wednesday night.

The story once again for Eastern was the inability to keep control of the ball and get rebounds. They also allowed UT Martin to get a lot of points in the paint throughout the game.

UT Martin came out to a hot start to begin the game going on a 10-3 run. The run caused head coach Debbie Black to call a timeout with 7:20 still to go in the first. Most of the first was full of back and forth possessions of no scoring and the quarter ended with UT Martin leading 14-7.

The second quarter was full of more scoring as sophomore Jalisha Smith opened up the scoring for Eastern two minutes in. They went on a lot of scoring droughts but ended up scoring 13 in the second quarter and trailed 29-20 at the half.

Black said the 1-3-1 defense really threw off the Panther offense as they had no rhythm going.

“Their 1-3-1 hurt us,” she said. “We worked on it on practice; we knew that they were going to do it. It’s funny thing about UT Martin. You know exactly what they’re going to do and they do it. They press, they play a 1-3-1 and they’re going to take threes and for whatever reason we were not handling it well.”

The third quarter was much like the recent third quarters Eastern has been having: bad. They were outscored by UT Martin 21-12 and could not recover from the deficit. UT Martin was able to take advantage of Eastern’s turnovers as they had nine points off of them in the third quarter alone.

Senior Alece Shumpert reflected on the third quarter.

“It didn’t feel great at all. It felt like our hands were being chopped and it just felt like there was nothing we could do because mentally we all got down as they kept on scoring,” Shumpert said.

In the fourth quarter it was much of the same as UT Martin scored eight more points off of turnovers. Eastern had six turnovers in the final four minutes of the game, and the team looked depleted at that point in the game. Eastern was outscored 36 to 19 in the second half.

With the loss, Eastern is now 1-18 on the season and 0-7 in the OVC. UT Martin improves to 11-7 this season and 4-1 in the conference. Eastern only shot 26.3 percent from the field and 25 percent from behind the arc. UT Martin shot 43.6 percent from the field and 30 percent from the three-point line.

Black had a hard time watching her team go down like that on Wednesday evening, she said.

“It is hard to watch something like that,” she said. “I just didn’t feel like we fought tonight and I felt like we kind of laid down. We’re going to have to regroup.”

UT Martin now extends their winning streak to four games and will take on Southeast Missouri this weekend. The 39 points scored by Eastern was the lowest point total they have scored this season.

The leading scorer in the game was Haley Howard for UT Martin with 15 points. She also added six rebounds and four assists. Jessy Ward was the second leading scorer for them as she had 13 points and four rebounds.

Eastern saw the majority of their points come from Shumpert, who scored 14 points. Erica Brown had four points, five rebounds and two blocks. The Panthers will now begin a three-game stand away from home starting with Austin Peay on Saturday.


Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]