Pace scores career-high in loss to Tennessee State


Karina Delgado

Freshman Karlee Pace goes up for a layup in the Panthers’ 72-44 loss to Tennessee-Martin Jan. 18 in Lantz Arena. Pace scored 31 points for Eastern in its 86-68 loss Saturday to Tennessee State.

Kaitlin Cordes, Women's Basketball Reporter

Freshman guard Karle Pace earned a career-high 31 points in the women’s basketball team’s fifth-straight loss Saturday.

Eastern has yet to win an away game with the 68-86 loss to Tennessee State putting it at 0-11 on the road. The Panthers dropped to 1-9 in the conference and 2-19 on the season.

Pace ignited the spark to start the first quarter for Eastern with a fast break layup in the paint. The first quarter was a game of back-and-forth shots between the Panthers and Tennessee State. When Eastern hit a bucket, the Tigers answered with a basket of their own.

Pace ended the first quarter with a bang, sinking a three-pointer to push the score to 16-21. She ended the first half of the game with 21 points.

The third quarter was all about the Tigers. They opened with a 16-4 run by Taylor Roberts. A layup by Pace broke the run midway through the quarter, but Tennessee State went on an 8-0 run after.

Sophomore forward Jennifer Nehls knocked down two jump shots to close out the quarter.

The Panthers were no match for Tigers’ 51.8 percent shooting from the field. Eastern managed to trim the Tigers’ lead down to 14 points in the final quarter.

Sophomore guard Danielle Berry was the only other Panther to score in the double digits with 10 points of her own. She was also the team-high rebounder with seven.

Tennessee State had three players score in the double digits. Roberts and Tia Wooten each had 18 points. Kaliya Griffin finished with 15 points, most of which came from beyond the arc.

Roberts also led her team in steals with three. Wooten led with nine rebounds.

Eastern walked away from the game leading in some statistics. The Panthers earned 16 second-chance points to the Tigers’ 11. Eastern also led in fast break points with nine, and had 32 points in the paint to Tennessee State’s 30.

The Tigers are 10th in the conference. They sit at 2-8 in conference play and 4-15 on the year.

The Panthers remain at the bottom of the OVC as they have just one conference win on the season. Eastern has eight conference games left this season.

Eastern will play Jacksonville State for the first and only time in the regular season Thursday at home. Jacksonville State is the No. 4 team in the conference with a 7-3 OVC record.

The Panthers have five home games remaining this season.

Eastern’s final regular season match up will be against Southern Illinois -Edwardsville.

Kaitlin Cordes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]