Women’s basketball team falls to Murray State


Jason Howell

Sophomore guard Grace Lennox scored 12 points in the Panthers' 66-56 loss to Murray State on Wednesday in Murray, Ky.

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

The Eastern women’s basketball showed some fight against Murray State, but couldn’t prevail resulting in their 20th straight loss.

Eastern stuck around the whole game despite never actually leading in the 66-56 loss. Murray State pulled away in the fourth quarter to win the game by double digits. The starters against Murray State were Phylicia Johnson, Grace Lennox, Erica Brown, Shakita Cox and Jalisha Smith.

At the first media timeout of the game, Eastern trailed just 4-2 with 4:55 remaining, but were failing to jump ahead of Murray State who went almost four minutes without scoring a basket.

The Panthers trailed after the first quarter 13-10. They shot just 30 percent from the field, while Murray State only shot 38 percent. The main area Murray State was beating them was in the paint where they were outscoring Eastern 10-4.

The shooting didn’t get much better in the second quarter for either team although Murray State came out on a 5-0 run. They then went over five minutes without scoring a basket, but Eastern was unable to capitalize once again as they just went on an answering 5-0 run during that time. Murray State took a 29-23 lead into halftime. Kyra Gulledge was the leading scorer at the half with nine points and was a perfect 3-3 from the field.

Eastern shot just 27 percent in the first half, but Murray State wasn’t shooting much better at 38 percent. The turnover battle was close as Eastern had nine takeaways as they had five steals in the first half. They were outscored 16-8 in the paint during the first half.

The third quarter featured more scoring by each team as Eastern fought back to tie it at 39 4:25 into the second half with a three from freshman Carmen Tellez. Eastern outscored Murray State in the third quarter 23-19 and trailed 48-46 going into the fourth. Cox hit a buzzer beater at the end of the quarter to make it a one-possession game.

A late turnover in the fourth quarter hurt the Panthers as they were within six points. There were multiple clock issues that dragged out the fourth quarter, but Eastern was outscored 18-10. Murray State went on a 6-0 run to finish out the game.

Lennox talked about what fell off at the end of the game.

“Just a few silly decisions at the end, throwing unforced turnovers and missing easy layups,” she said.

Gulledge and Ke’Shunan James were the games top scores with 17 points a piece for Murray State. Gulledge also led the team in rebounds with nine and James handed out the most assists with four. Brown had a strong performance for the Panthers as she fell just short of a double-double with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Lennox led the team in points with 12 and Smith led the team in rebounds with nine. Turnovers hurt Eastern once again as Murray State was able to get 21 points off of turnovers. Both teams ended up shooting 39 percent from the field in the game.

Lennox took away some positives from this game.

“We played good defense tonight and matched them in rebounding for the first game in awhile,” she said.

Eastern still has one game remaining on the road trip against SIU Edwardsville on Saturday.


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