Women’s basketball team falls to 1-8


Karina Delgado

Sophomore Danielle Berry guards Tennessee-Martin’s Emanye Robertson in the Panthers’ 72-44 loss to the Skyhawks Jan. 18 in Lantz Arena. The Panthers lost to Belmont on the road Thursday.

JJ Bullock, Assistant Sports Editor

For three quarters it looked like the Eastern women’s basketball team had a real bid to end Belmont’s 33-game conference winning streak. But when the fourth quarter came, the Bruins became the Bruins once again.

Belmont outscored Eastern 20-6 in the fourth quarter on its way to beating the Panthers 59-37, clinching a 34th straight conference win.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Belmont led Eastern 39-31, but things changed quickly when the Bruins rediscovered their three-point shot and went on a 13-0 run and put to rest any notion of an upset.

Eastern shot just 3-of-18 in the fourth quarter. This game, however, is something the Panthers have been getting used to ­—falling apart late on offense.

“It is similar to the past, just struggling in to make shots in the fourth quarter,” Eastern head coach Matt Bollant said. “But, give them credit to them, (Maggard) stepped up for them, she’s the co-player of the year, and played really well and we didn’t have anybody step up and do that.”

After the game Bollant said he told his team just more of the same, they need someone to step up and make plays.

“If we find someone to make plays it wouldn’t matter. We did a good job of executing the game plan, but we can’t go 3-of-18 in the fourth quarter when it matters,” Bollant said.

At the heart of this team’s frequent late collapses, Bollant says is just a lack of veterans.

“When that happens to the other team, their juniors and seniors step up and make plays and right now we’re not getting that. With Grace (Lennox)I think we would have had that,” Bollant said.

Maggard scored a game-high 17 points and Ellie Harmeyer added 15 for the Bruins as they move their conference record to a perfect 8-0.

For Eastern, no player scored in double-digits, as junior Carmen Tellez led the team with eight points on 3-of-7 shooting.

While neither team played well on offense in the first half, both of them were determined to not let the other run away with the game.

Belmont shot just 27 percent, 3-of-20 from three, in the first half and Eastern just a tick better at 33 percent in the half.

Late in the second quarter, the two teams exchanged baskets beginning with Taylor Steele giving Eastern a 15-13 lead with 3:41 to play before the half.

Belmont responded with a made shot by Darby Maggard and from there, the teams hit a combined three three-pointers and an and-one by Tellez, sending the score into halftime 21-22 Belmont’s favor.

The Panthers played so well in the first half because of how well they executed their game plan, Bollant said.

“We did a good job of knowing where their shooters were and just trying to make everything tough for them,” Bollant said. “We were patient offensively and did a good job with that.”

The loss drops Eastern to 1-8 in the OVC.

The Panthers’ next game is Saturday against Tennessee State.

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