Fourth quarter dooms Eastern women’s basketball team in loss to Governors

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Fourth quarter dooms Eastern women’s basketball team in loss to Governors

Eastern sophomore guard Karle Pace tries to pass around an Austin Peay defender in the Panthers 73-60 loss to the Governors on Saturday. Pace struggled, going 2-of-9 from the field for seven points.

Eastern sophomore guard Karle Pace tries to pass around an Austin Peay defender in the Panthers 73-60 loss to the Governors on Saturday. Pace struggled, going 2-of-9 from the field for seven points.

Jordan Boyer

Eastern sophomore guard Karle Pace tries to pass around an Austin Peay defender in the Panthers 73-60 loss to the Governors on Saturday. Pace struggled, going 2-of-9 from the field for seven points.

Jordan Boyer

Jordan Boyer

Eastern sophomore guard Karle Pace tries to pass around an Austin Peay defender in the Panthers 73-60 loss to the Governors on Saturday. Pace struggled, going 2-of-9 from the field for seven points.

JJ Bullock, Sports Editor

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When the Eastern women’s basketball team lost games this season, the reasoning behind the loss can typically be pointed directly at one quarter where the team plays subpar basketball. 

Saturday’s 73-60 loss to Austin Peay was no different a narrative for Eastern. 

The Panthers were tied with Austin Peay at 49-49 heading into the fourth quarter, but turnovers and missed shots dogged the Panthers as they were outscored 24-11 in the final 10 minutes, in another loss where Eastern just could not hold it 100 percent together for a full four quarters. 

Austin Peay scored nine points in the fourth quarter just off Eastern turnovers alone in a quarter where things just “fell apart” according to head coach Matt Bollant. 

“We just didn’t guard, didn’t make great adjustments in the fourth quarter,” Bollant said. “They made the three three’s and we got down by about seven or nine (points) and then we got a little impatient offensively and tried to get in back on one possession instead of being patient.”

Bollant said it was more his team making mistakes in the fourth quarter, playing too fast and forcing passes, rather than Austin Peay’s defense that led to the Governors taking over in the quarter. 

Austin Peay finished the game with four players in double-figures, led by Brandi Ferby who had 19 points and added two keys steal in the fourth quarter for the Governors. 11 of Ferby’s point came in the second half. 

Forward Keisha Gregory scored all 13 of her points in the second half, Maggie Knowles added 16 and Ali Gonzalez-Varner had 12 in a four-headed attack that dropped Eastern to 2-4 in the Ohio Valley Conference, tied for the last tournament spot. 

Bollant was honest with what his team was going to have to do the remainder of the season to stay in the conference tournament picture.

“Right now we’re tied for 8th and I said ‘realistically we have to win between seven and nine (games), maybe six to get in, but we’d certainly like to be in for sure, so I said if we can get to nine wins in the conference we can definitely get in,” Bollant said. “Now, obviously that is a lot from 2-4 to win seven of the next 12 but if we get to seven or eight I think we’d have a good shot as well.”

Bollant reminded his team of the importance of games against teams like Austin Peay and also how key it is to get a couple of games against the conference’s tops teams like Tennessee-Martin, which Eastern beat once this season and plays again on Thursday. 

Sophomore guard Taylor Steele led Eastern with 17 points in the game, her second highest total of the season. 

“It was good to see her make some shots and she rebounded the ball as well and did a lot of good things for us,” Bollant said. 

Abby Wahl added 11 points and eight rebounds in just her second career start, a performance Bollant was very happy to see from the freshman forward in the absence of starters Grace McRae and Jennifer Nehls.

“I was really proud of the way she played,” Bollant said. “I thought she battled hard against Murray State and I thought she was really solid again on Saturday against Austin Peay.”

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