Women’s basketball team wins 73-58

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Women’s basketball team wins 73-58

Junior Carmen Tellez dribbles the ball upcourt against Rose-Hulman Monday night at Lantz Arena. Tellez had five points and seven rebounds for the Panthers in their 73-58 win.

Junior Carmen Tellez dribbles the ball upcourt against Rose-Hulman Monday night at Lantz Arena. Tellez had five points and seven rebounds for the Panthers in their 73-58 win.

Sean Hastings

Junior Carmen Tellez dribbles the ball upcourt against Rose-Hulman Monday night at Lantz Arena. Tellez had five points and seven rebounds for the Panthers in their 73-58 win.

Sean Hastings

Sean Hastings

Junior Carmen Tellez dribbles the ball upcourt against Rose-Hulman Monday night at Lantz Arena. Tellez had five points and seven rebounds for the Panthers in their 73-58 win.

JJ Bullock, Assistant Sports Editor

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Eastern head coach Matt Bollant told his team at halftime to make the third quarter their best quarter of the game and they listened; using a big 24-point third quarter to lift them to a win Monday night over Rose-Hulman.

Grace Lennox had a game-high 18 points and Jennifer Nehls added 16 of her own in the Panthers 73-58 win.

After Eastern closed the first half of the game by letting Rose-Hulman go on a 13-5 run giving them a 34-31 lead at the intermission, Bollant wanted to see his team make some changes, specifically to guarding the dribble and being more disciplined.

“We can’t change the first half. We played a miserable first half,” Bollant said. “That’s gone. Let’s go concentrate on what we can do and what we can do is play. We played a terrible third quarter last week, let’s have this be our best quarter. Let’s change that from last week. And this was our best quarter.”

Sophomore Jennifer Nehls had a quiet first half but made her presence on the court known right out of the gate in the third quarter. Nehls had 13 of her 16 total points in the quarter and began the quarter by draining three three-pointers, one of them tying the game at 39 and another giving her team a 44-41 lead.

“It seemed like we needed to get something going so I just let it fly,” Nehls said. “I just felt on fire I guess.”

Nehls was 6-of-10 shooting and 4-of-7 from three-point range.

Three-point shooting was big for the Panthers as they were 11-19 as a team from beyond the arc. Five different Panthers made a three in the game. Freshman Taylor Steele was 3-of-4 from three-point range, she had 11 total points. Lennox was 2-of-2, and Carmen Tellez and Karle Pace both added threes of their own.

Eastern started the game with a 12-3 run, but a couple of turnovers and missed layups later and the Panthers were suddenly trailing Rose-Hulman 20-18 before the quarters end.

Eastern struggled to turn things around in the second quarter and finished the first half with eight turnovers and a three-point deficit to its division three opponent.

Bollant worried that the run his team had to open up the game had them a little too confident to start and that the team was probably a little shocked when they were suddenly down to Rose-Hulman and that is what led to the first half struggles.

“In the second-half we just ran the offense and let it come to us a little bit and I think it led to much better shots,” Bollant said. “We were a little slower to dribble and just let the offense run instead of thinking ‘I am going to go make a play myself. ‘”

Rose-Hulman shot 61.5 percent from the field in the first quarter and 42.9 percent in the second which is another key reason they jumped out to an early lead over the Panthers.

Eastern however buckled down on defense as well in the second half, holding Rose-Hulman to 35.7 percent shooting in the third and 23.5 percent in the fourth quarter.

No Rose-Hulman player scored in double-digits in the game.

The game will be Eastern’s final exhibition game. They begin the regular season Nov. 10 at Lantz Arena against Northern Illinois.

JJ Bullock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]