Women’s basketball team loses 5th-straight game

Mark Shanahan, Assistant Sports Editor

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Western Illinois used a big shooting performance from beyond the arc in its 83-62 win over the Eastern women’s basketball team on Saturday afternoon.

With the loss, Eastern has now dropped five straight games, and they fall to 4-7 on the season.

For Western, they are now on a three-game winning streak with a record of 8-3. For the second game in a row, Western had five players reach double-digit scoring.

Western finished the game going 12-28 from the three-point line. Emily Clemens was the team leader with 20 points and nine assists, followed by Mallory Boyle (17), Morgan Blumer (14), Michelle Farrow (11) and Taylor Higginbotham (11).  The 17 points was a career-high for Boyle, and the 8-3 start for Western is its best since the 2005-06 season.

Senior Erica Brown had a new career high with 25 points for the Panthers, while adding eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks.

Sophomore Halle Stull was the only other Panther to reach double-digits on Saturday with a season-high 15 points.

Eastern jumped out to a 9-5 lead in the first quarter, but Western fought back and eventually took an 18-17 advantage entering the second quarter.

An 11-4 run in the second pushed Western’s lead to 27-19 with less than eight minutes left in the half. Western led 40-23 after outscoring Eastern 19-4 in the final 8:56 of the second quarter.

Western outscored Eastern 22-6 in the second quarter as they shot 50 percent from the field in the period. Ten of Eastern’s 20 turnovers came in the second quarter.

The Leathernecks maintained a double-digit lead through the third quarter and entering the fourth with a 21-point advantage.

Eastern cut the game to 12 points after a 20-9 run with 5:22 left to go in the game. Western got the momentum back after an and one by Boyle to close out the victory.

Junior Grace Lennox finished the game with nine points, four assists and two steals in the 39 minutes she played. Sophomore Carmen Tellez got the start again for an injured Jalisha Smith and finished with seven points and four assists.

Eastern stayed close in the rebound battle on Saturday.

Western took the 35-31 advantage in rebounding. The Panthers could not get it going from the three-point line, as they were 3-19 on the day.

The road trip continues for Eastern on Dec. 18 when the Panthers travel to New Mexico. After that, they will travel to Cincinnati on Dec. 21 to round out the non-conference schedule.

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