The Daily Eastern News

Women’s basketball team wins opener 102-43

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Eastern basketball players (from left) Kira Arthofer, Grace Lennox and Karle Pace celebrate the Panthers breaking the 100-point mark late in the game on Nov. 6 against Oakland City. It was the first time since 2009 the Panthers reached 100 points.

Eastern basketball players (from left) Kira Arthofer, Grace Lennox and Karle Pace celebrate the Panthers breaking the 100-point mark late in the game on Nov. 6 against Oakland City. It was the first time since 2009 the Panthers reached 100 points.

Adam Tumino

Adam Tumino

Eastern basketball players (from left) Kira Arthofer, Grace Lennox and Karle Pace celebrate the Panthers breaking the 100-point mark late in the game on Nov. 6 against Oakland City. It was the first time since 2009 the Panthers reached 100 points.

JJ Bullock, Sports Editor

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Last season there were eight games where the Eastern women’s basketball team failed to score 51 or more points in an entire four quarters. Tuesday night in the Panthers’ season opener, they had put up that many points by halftime against Oakland City.

Eastern’s 102-43 win over Oakland City was in every sense of the word a blowout. The Panthers scored 100 points in a game for just the second time in program history and the first time since 2009. Eastern senior guard Grace Lennox tallied her 1000th career point in the win. 

“It’s a good feeling I guess. I don’t really know honestly like, its great and it’s a good feeling, but I want a ring,” Lennox said. “I came here for four years, and I definitely want a ring, so that’s what I am going for. Whatever I have to do to get that ring I am going to do. A thousand points I guess is just a step in the way. Scoring-wise if I need to score I will, if I need to as possible I will, so whatever we need to do, I am going to do to get that ring.”

 Eastern did everything right, and Oakland City did everything wrong in what will go down as one of the most lopsided wins in school history.

The Panthers’ offense incredibly efficient, shooting 52.1 percent from the field, having four players finish in double-figures led by sophomore Taylor Steele and senior Carmen Tellez who each had 15 points. Eastern’s press defense smothered Oakland City from the outset of the game, getting hands in passing lanes and in general making it very difficult for the Oaks to move the ball. 

By the time the game was done Eastern had forced 21 turnovers while holding Oakland City to just 28 percent shooting from the field. 

“I thought until the fourth quarter we defended really well, and we rebounded the ball better, created some turnovers, which was great as well,” Bollant said. 

The defensive performance against Oakland City was a night and day difference than in exhibition play when the Panthers gave up 82 points to Illinois-Wesleyan.

“We definitely played harder I would say than last game,” Steele said. “We were forcing turnovers left and right, which really helped us out defensively.”

Eastern’s bench did a total 180-degree turn from its seven-point performance in the team’s exhibition game against Illinois-Wesleyan, as Eastern’s bench scored 62 points against Oakland City with Carmen Tellez (15 points), freshman Jordyn Hughes (12 points) and junior Danielle Berry (10 points) leading the team there. 

“Seven to 62 is a pretty good jump,” Bollant said. “Obviously the quality of opponent, they weren’t quite the same opponent, but it was good to see Carmen come in and make some shots and our bench with Camino (Tellez) to make some shots and our bench to play with a lot of confidence.”

 Carmen Tellez scored 15 points off the bench and her little sister Camino Tellez was 3-of-3 shooting from the floor with eight points in her first game as a Panther. It was a big night for the Tellez sisters, particularly with their mother in the stands visiting from Spain.

“It was pretty awesome (watching Camino) especially after her injury.It was her first game,” Carmen Tellez said. “My mom was here to watch, so that was pretty awesome.”

The 58-point win for Eastern comes ahead of a big change in competition as Friday Eastern will travel to face Butler of the Big East Conference. 

The win defintely gives Eastern a confidence boost, but Lennox said defensively is where most of the confidence moving forward will be drawn from the Oakland City game. 

“I think yeah, shooting is important, but I think for us confidence-wise, the biggest thing was our defense coming back from last game to now, I think that’s going to help us out a lot,” Lennox said. 

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

About the Writer
JJ Bullock, Sports Editor

Hey, I'm JJ Bullock and I am the Sports Editor. I am a junior journalism major. I spent last year as the Assistant Sports Editor. Prior to that I served...

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Women’s basketball team wins opener 102-43