Panthers look to get first road win of the season


Jason Howell

Sophomore guard Grace Lennox scored a career-high 23 points in the Panthers' 74-71 loss to Murray State on Wednesday in Lantz Arena.

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

The Eastern women’s basketball team will have an opportunity to start a new winning streak against conference opponent Southeast Missouri on Saturday afternoon after losing in overtime to Murray State Wednesday.

The Panthers snapped its 21-game losing streak against Southeast Missouri earlier this month. They went on to win two-straight games before losing the game against Murray State.

Sophomore guard Grace Lennox said the team would be able to shake off the tough loss.

“It was a tough loss, but overall we played a decent game and did a lot of positive things that we will carry into our next game on Saturday,” she said.

After winning two out of the three games during the home stand, Eastern will have to go on the road for two games against Southeast Missouri and Tennessee-Martin. The Panthers have yet to win a game away from home this season, and this will be the last two chances to do so as there are only three games remaining in the season.

Lennox thought the team did well with rebounding and limiting turnovers in the overtime loss to Murray State on Wednesday.

“We out rebounded them, hustled and fought out the game,” she said. “We only had 12 turnovers, and we found numerous ways to score.”

Eastern is heading into the matchup with an overall record of 3-22 and 2-11 in conference play. Southeast Missouri heads into Saturday with a record of 14-12 and 7-6 against OVC opponents. SEMO is returning home after a road trip where they lost three straight games.

They have been outscored 175 to 126 in the last two games, which came against Tennessee-Martin and Murray State. SEMO began its three game road trip against Eastern on February 6 and lost 59-64 after a late fourth quarter effort by the Panthers.

The Panthers got a huge game from junior Erica Brown who earned a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds last time against SEMO. She was one of three different Panthers to record double figures on the night. Junior Phylicia Johnson was the team’s leading scorer with 19 points.

Johnson had a big fourth quarter to lead the Panthers to a comeback victory as 15 of her 19 points came in the fourth alone. All of her points in the game came in the second half, as SEMO did not have an answer for her on defense.

Eastern shot 46.4 percent in the second half of the early February game while outscoring Southeast Missouri, 46-30. Freshman forward Halle Stull came off the bench with 11 points and six rebounds. Lennox played the full game with six points, seven rebounds and five assists.

The Panthers will attempt to get that first road win of the season on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Cape Girardeau, Mo.


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