Fort Wayne downs Eastern 93-77

JJ Bullock, Assistant Sports Editor


Once again, one big quarter was all it took for the Eastern women’s basketball team to lose control of a game.

The Panthers went into halftime of their game with Fort Wayne Friday down just two points. But Fort Wayne used a 28-point third quarter and held Eastern to just 15 points as it handed Eastern its 7th loss of the season.

The 77 points Eastern scored, led by guard Grace Lennox’s 21, but on a day when the offense was clicking on all cylinders, the defense was unable to stop Fort Wayne’s offense.

The Mastodons shot 70.8 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range as they became the second team this season to score over 90 points on the Eastern defense.

“Give (Fort Wayne) a lot of credit. I thought we played our best offensive game of the year, just couldn’t string together stops,” coach Matt Bollant said. “We tried playing man, played zone, played buzz, and it didn’t string together many stops, no matter what we were doing. Part of it was they made shots; part of it was a lack of awareness of us understanding what we need to accomplish.”

Five Fort Wayne players scored in double-digits led by De’jour Young’s game-high 23 and Hannah Albrecht’s 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

Sophomore Jennifer Nehls rebounded nicely from her last game where she went 0-8 from the court, going 6-of-9 scoring 17 points against Fort Wayne.

Freshmen Grace McRae added 16 points and six rebounds for Eastern.

“I thought G-Mac (McRae) was great and Jen and Grace, we had three people that played pretty well. (Danielle Berry) fought really hard,” Bollant said. “Those three played really well, but we need more consistency and got to find others that want to play defense and care enough.”

The first half ended with Eastern down 43-41, and the Panthers outscored Fort Wayne 23-22 in the fourth quarter; however, the lopsided third quarter was the difference maker.

“I felt really good about our first half. We had several contested shots that (Fort Wayne) made in the first half,” Bollant said. “But we didn’t sustain that effort in the second half. Defensively, we never got enough stops.”

The Panthers have been prone to total collapse quarters like the third quarter against Fort Wayne all season long.

There has been at least one quarter in seven of the Panthers’ eight games this season, where they have been outscored by 10 or more points in a quarter.

Fort Wayne moved to 3-7 this year.

The loss dropped Eastern to 1-7 on the season and it will have a 10-day break between games before playing Valparaiso on Dec. 18 at Lantz Arena.

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