Women beat Tennessee-Martin 80-70 in OT


Bryan Bund

Senior forward Erica Brown defends a pass from Tennessee-Martin’s Ashton Feldhaus Wednesday at Lantz Arena. Brown scored 13 points and added 5 blocks in the Panthers’ 80-70 overtime win.

Mark Shanahan, Women's Basketball Reporter

The Eastern women’s basketball team needed an overtime period, but pulled away big resulting in an 80-70 victory over the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks on Wednesday night.

Eastern needed a big performance from freshman Allison Van Dyke who scored a team high 23 points, which was also a career high for the freshman.

Van Dyke was 5-9 from beyond in the arc.

Eastern is now 2-5 against Ohio Valley Conference opponents and remains in the mix for one of the last spots in the conference tournament.

“I mean it’s huge,” Van Dyke said. “We’ve had so many close games recently that we should have won that we’ve put the effort in, everything’s there and we should have done it and it is so great to actually get it. It feels so good and it makes everything worth it when we’re playing.”

Eastern jumped out to a 25-14 lead after the first period and led by as many as 12, but the Skyhawks started to get back into the game and cut the lead to 39-31 at the half.

The third period almost doomed the Panthers who were outscored 25-12 and found themselves trailing 56-51 going into the fourth quarter.

Van Dyke said this is when the team had to push back.

“We all knew we had to step up and we had to put the throttle down as coach Black says,” Van Dyke said. “We can’t just let them come back and just let them beat us like that. We had to really push back and be the one punching them first instead of taking the punch.”

An 8-0 run put Eastern back in the lead quickly to begin the fourth quarter and the teams traded off baskets before ultimately going into overtime.

Sophomore Halle Stull brought the Panthers within two points with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter. Stull said the win was good for the confidence of her and her teammates.

“This is a big win because I know personally my confidence has been down so just as a team I know that confidence just went up today,” Stull said. “Everyone was doing great things, we were playing as a team and everyone was working hard today.”

The overtime period was Eastern dominated by Van Dyke and Brown who scored a combined nine points.

Eastern outscored Tennessee-Martin 12-2 in the overtime period to improve to 6-13 on the season.

Eastern coach Debbie Black said she did not care if the shots went in for Brown, she just wanted her senior forward to be aggressive and take shots.

“I really went after (Brown),” Black said. “I needed her to go attack and I’m not going to lie, I went hard at her. She took it from the top of the key and she drove hard and she made a layup. A big time layup. I think the whole bench erupted.”

Tennessee-Martin is now 4-15 and 1-5 OVC, which is last in the conference. Next up for Eastern is a trip to Southeast Missouri this Saturday.

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