Women’s basketball is no match for OVC leader Tennessee-Martin as they lost 91-52 on Wednesday night.
Phylicia Johnson, Grace Lennox, Erica Brown, Shakita Cox and Jalisha Smith got the start on Wednesday night against Tennessee-Martin. Senior Haley Howard opened up the scoring in the game for Tennessee-Martin by knocking down a pair of free throw after being fouled by Brown.
Eastern answered with a three pointer from Cox, but Jessie Ward quickly answered that with a three pointer of her own. From there, Eastern made only one of eight baskets as Tennessee-Martin was able to go on a 6-0 run to make the score 11-3, forcing head coach Debbie Black to take a timeout.
Brown had two quick personal fouls, which caused her to sit for the remainder of the first quarter. Eastern trailed 21-10 after one period and shot just 20 percent from the field as they were 3-15. Tennessee-Martin shot 46 percent from the field and was three for eight from beyond the arc.
Tennessee-Martin really poured it on in the second quarter as they outscored Eastern 35-16. They ended the first half shooting 61 percent from the field and 53 percent from three-point range. Howard led all scorers with 13 points and six rebounds in the first half of play.
Eastern finished the first half shooting just 24 percent from the field and 18 percent from beyond the arc. They trailed 56-26 at halftime with Brown, the leading scorer on the team, with eight points. The Panthers had just two baskets halfway through the second, but they were able to get to the line and make some free throws towards the end of the first half.
Tennessee-Martin continued to pull away to start the second half as they scored 15 unanswered points in a little over three minutes midway through the third quarter. During that run, Eastern turned the ball over six times. Tennessee-Martin ended up outscoring the Panthers 21-10 in the third to make the score 77-36 heading into the final quarter.
Tennessee-Martin played most of their bench for the final quarter as the held the huge lead. Eastern ended up outscoring them 16-14 in the final quarter. Overall, Eastern shot 34 percent in the game while Tennessee-Martin shot 53 percent from the field.
Tennessee-Martin capitalized off of the Eastern turnovers all night as they scored 31 points off of the 18 turnovers by the Panthers. They also dominated in the paint as they had 42 points compared to Eastern’s 26.
Ward was the leading scorer in the game with her 19 points. She was 5 for 8 from three-point range and added three rebounds. Howard finished with 16 points and seven rebounds for Tennessee-Martin.
Eastern will head back home for its final game of the season on Saturday afternoon at Lantz Arena.
Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]