The season came to an end for the Eastern women’s basketball team with a 68-52 loss to Southern Illinois Edwardsville on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers finish the season with a 9-19 overall record and a 5-11 record in Ohio Valley Conference play. In her final game for Eastern, senior Erica Brown fell short of a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Zharia Lenoir was the leading scorer for the Panthers’ with 12 points.
With the victory, Southern Illinois Edwardsville improves to 13-16 overall and 9-7 in conference play. Donshel Beck was the leading scorer in the game with 20 points while adding eight rebounds. Nakiah Bell was the team’s second leading scorer with 13 points and six rebounds.
The Panthers were held to 18 points in the first half as they scored nine points in the first and second quarter. Midway through the first the teams were tied at six, but a 7-0 run by the Cougars put them up 13-6 with 3:14 remaining in the quarter. Sophomore Brittin Boyer made a free throw with 2:19 to go and Eastern would remain scoreless the rest of the quarter trailing 16-9 after one.
Eastern got off to a good start in the second and came within two after two free throws from sophomore Halle Stull to make it 18-16 with 7:57 left in the quarter. A 7-0 run helped the Cougars jump out to a 25-16 lead and they would end up with a 31-18 lead at the half.
Lenoir and Brown opened up the scoring in the second half with back-to-back scores. The scoring would go back in forth in the third quarter, but Southern Illinois Edwardsville built its lead up to 10. Eastern came within six after a pair of free throws from Lenoir, but the Cougars went on a 6-0 run and led 49-39 going into the final quarter.
Southern Illinois Edwardsville scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter and jumped out to a 57-39 advantage. A free throw by Stull gave the Panthers their first point of the quarter at the 5:31 mark. The lead was extended to as high as 22 points in the fourth and Eastern scored the final eight points of the game.
Eastern shot 29.7 percent in the game and was outrebounded 48-36. Southern Illinois Edwardsville shot 39.7 percent in the game and finished shooting 44.8 percent from the field in the second half.
The Panthers will return four of its five starters next season; Brown is the only senior on the team.
Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]