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Play in paint crucial in Wednesday’s loss to Cleveland State

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Play in paint crucial in Wednesday’s loss to Cleveland State

Senior Erica Brown and freshman teammate Allison Van Dyke apply a full court press on Cleveland State's Nicolete Newman Wednesday at Lantz Arena.

Senior Erica Brown and freshman teammate Allison Van Dyke apply a full court press on Cleveland State's Nicolete Newman Wednesday at Lantz Arena.

Justin Brown

Senior Erica Brown and freshman teammate Allison Van Dyke apply a full court press on Cleveland State's Nicolete Newman Wednesday at Lantz Arena.

Justin Brown

Justin Brown

Senior Erica Brown and freshman teammate Allison Van Dyke apply a full court press on Cleveland State's Nicolete Newman Wednesday at Lantz Arena.

JJ Bullock, Women's Basketball Reporter

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When it came to playing in the paint, Cleveland State had its way with Eastern in a 66-56 loss for the Panthers Wednesday night at Lantz arena.

Eastern was outscored 38-14 inside and out-rebounded 45-34 in a game where it seemed like they could not get anything going down low.

Cleveland State, led by Ashanti Abshaw’s 18 points and eight rebounds, but on the other hand, had little trouble the whole game running through Eastern’s defense.

“We were in a zone, so there is no way you should be able to score 38 points in our paint,” Eastern head coach Debbie Black said. “But we just opened the zone and let them score. Our game plan was certainly for them to maybe take more outside shots but they broke our zone.”

Eastern guard Carmen Tellez agreed, saying the Eastern defense was not tight enough in the paint.

“I feel like we were so open instead of being all in the paint and don’t (let) them go to the basket,” Tellez said.

Seeing the problem, Black tried to change defensive schemes, but even that did not slow the Vikings offensive attack.

“I went to man (defense) for like a minute and it was worse,” she said. “So I went back into the paint. But, you know, it’s a little bit of discipline on our part. We have to be more disciplined and understand who we’re playing and know your personnel. But a couple of those kids just like walked in the lane and scored on us; there wasn’t post-up moves, they were pretty much just off the dribble, against the zone which is kind of weird.”

Despite forward Erica Brown having a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds while playing all 40 minutes of the game, Eastern mustered all of just 14 points in the paint, which is too low for Black’s taste.

“Absolutely, especially against an undersized team,” Black said.” We didn’t make great reads tonight, we are trying to get it over and in, we are forcing the ball. I don’t think they did anything that we haven’t expected. We just had a hard time identifying what was open tonight. I think that’s very low for us, we’ve been in the 20s and 30s for sure, against bigger teams than this.”

Much of the credit to the struggles could be placed on the fact Eastern is without typical starting forward Jalisha Smith, who is out because of injury. However, Black feels this is still no excuse for the team.

“Of course I think Jalisha Smith not playing will hurt us, but you know what, somebody is fortunate, somebody else has the opportunity. I told these kids all along your time will come, and somebody has to step up and replace her minutes and her scoring and her energy.”

JJ Bullock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]

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JJ Bullock, Sports Editor

Hey, I'm JJ Bullock and I am the Sports Editor. I am a junior journalism major. I spent last year as the Assistant Sports Editor. Prior to that I served...

Justin Brown, Sports Designer

Hello, my name is Justin Brown. I am a non-traditional student in my first year with the Daily Eastern News. This year I will be the sports page designer,...

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Play in paint crucial in Wednesday’s loss to Cleveland State