Tennessee State hands Eastern second straight loss

Mark Shanahan, Women's Basketball Reporter

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The Eastern women’s basketball team fell to the Tennessee State Tigers 69-58 in a sloppy turnover filled game on Wednesday night.

The teams started off the game  with the Tigers quickly jumping out to a 5-0 lead before freshman Allison Van Dyke opened up the scoring for the Panthers to make it 5-2. The Panthers would never lead in this game, but they fought in the first quarter with the help of sophomore Carmen Tellez, who hit two of her six 3-pointers in the first quarter. Tellez would end up finishing with 18 points.

The Panthers trailed 15-11 after one quarter with Van Dyke and Tellez being the only players to get on the scoreboard for the Panthers. The sloppy play continued to start the second quarter as the two teams reached a combined 20 turnovers just 14 minutes into the game. The Tigers extended their lead to 21-11 before junior Grace Lennox hit a pair of free throws to make it 23-11. The Panthers came as close as six with another three from Tellez to make it 26-20, but the Tigers went on another run to make it 36-25 at the half.

In the first half, the Panthers had 12 turnovers, while the Tigers had 15. Eastern was shooting 32.1 percent from the floor in the first half and 40 percent from beyond the arc. Tellez scored 12 of the Panther’s 25 first- half points, and the leading scorers such as Van Dyke, Lennox and senior Erica Brown combined for nine points.

Tennessee State shot 44.1 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc in the first half. I’mani Davis almost had a double-double for the Tigers at the half with seven points and 11 rebounds. Tennessee State outrebounded the Panthers 50-35 in the game. They were also taking care of business in the paint where they outscored Eastern 34-22.

The Tigers started out fast again in the second half, opening with a 6-0 run. A pair of free throws from Brown and a layup to follow helped the Panthers get within 10 at the halfway mark. The Panthers would stay within 10 for the rest of the period and trailed 53-43 going into the fourth.

The Panthers played tough in the fourth, but the deficit from the first half would be too much as they fell by 11. Eastern outscored the Tigers 18-17 in the third and were outscored 16-15 in the fourth. Tellez was the teams leading scorer with 18 and Lennox finished with 17. Eastern finished with 23 turnovers and Tennessee State had 24.

The Tigers had four players reach double figures in the game. Davis ended up with a double-double as she had 13 points and 17 rebounds. Tia Wooten (14), Diamond Beatty (13) and Jayda Johnson (11) were the other Tigers to reach double digits.

With just six games left in the season, the Panthers are close to must win mode when they host Tennessee Tech this Saturday at Lantz Arena.

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