Panthers win second in a row

Mark Shanahan, Women's Basketball Reporter

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The Eastern women’s basketball team defeated Southeast Missouri on Saturday, 71-62, for its second straight victory.

Eastern improves to 7-13 on the year with a 3-5 record against the Ohio Valley Conference.

The three conference victories are more than the Panthers had all of last season.

Junior Grace Lennox, sophomore Carmen Tellez and senior Erica Brown each finished with double digit scoring in the victory.

Lennox was the team’s leading scorer with 18 points, and it is the ninth game in a row that she has reached double digit scoring. Lennox also had five assists and four steals in the game. Tellez scored a career- high 17 points and two assists. Brown recorded her second double-double in as many games with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Southeast Missouri did not go away in this one as they chipped  away at the Panther’s lead throughout the game. Eastern led by seven going into the fourth quarter and pushed that lead to as high as 15. Tellez scored nine of her 17 points in the fourth quarter to help the Panthers pull off the road victory.

The Redhawks were able to pull within four points, and Bri Mitchell was a big part of the offense for them; she led all scorers with 20 points. The Redhawks fouled in the last minute resulting in seven free throws for the Panthers, which sealed their victory.

Eastern shot 39 percent from the floor, while Southeast Missouri shot 36 percent. The Redhawks are one of the top three-point shooting teams in the conference, but could not get it going from beyond the arc on Saturday going 5-22. Both teams got major contributions from their bench, Eastern scored 21 bench points and Southeast Missouri scored 26. Eastern out-rebounded Southeast Missouri 43-36.

The lead changed just two times in the game, and Southeast Missouri’s largest lead was three in the first quarter. The game was tied up at 15 after the first period of play, and then Eastern jumped out to an eight- point lead in the second quarter before the Redhawks scored the final five points of the period, making it 30-27 Eastern at the half.

Freshman Zharia Lenoir started off the Panther’s offense in the second half with five straight points. Lenoir finished with seven- points in the game. Eastern had a seven point lead going into the final quarter and outscored the Redhawks 23-21 in the final frame to secure the victory.

Eastern will have a full week of rest to prepare for Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, which comes to Lantz Arena this Saturday. A win would put the Panthers as the eighth seed in the conference tournament.

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