Four seniors end career with women’s basketball team


Dillan Schorfheide

Eastern senior Grace Lennox directs the court during Eastern’s 68-51 loss to Tennessee Tech on Saturday in Lantz Arena. Lennox, Jalisha Smith, Halle Stull and Carmen Tellez all played their final game on Saturday.

JJ Bullock, Sports Editor

Eastern seniors Grace Lennox, Jalisha Smith, Carmen Tellez and Halle Stull played in their final game on Saturday, wrapping up five-year careers for Lennox and Smith and four-year careers for Stull and Tellez, in a 68-51 loss to Tennessee Tech.

All four players got the start against Tennessee Tech. Lennox played in 39 minutes, scoring eightpoint on 3-of-11 shooting and also picked up her 500th career assist, putting her in the 1000-point, 500-assist club for her career.

Smith finished with nine points and six rebounds in 22 minutes and made her first three-point basket of the season.

Lennox and Smith shared a special moment on the court, as Smith was the recipient of Lennox’s 500th assist, a moment that almost too nicely wraps up the five seasons the two spent in Eastern’s program together.

“Making the 500 assists means a lot to me because I am a point guard and I like to distribute the ball so hitting it today, and I think ‘Juice’ (Jalisha Smith) was the one that got my 500th assist,” Lennox said. “We have been in this program for five years together, so it was perfect.”

“Perfect,” Smith echoed.

Tellez went 0-of-5 shooting in the game, but she still finished the season with a program-record 48 percent three-point percentage.

“The confidence from my teammates and my coaches helped me have confidence in myself to shoot the ball, so I stepped up every day knowing that they’ve got my back,” Tellez said.

Stull had seven points and four rebounds in the loss. The start was the first of the season for Stull who saw her role reduced this season from years past, but getting the opportunity to start one last time with Lennox, Tellez and Smith was a big deal.

“It was pretty special just being able to end my senior career on a good note and go out with my teammates having my back and being able to play with them,” Stull said.

The game itself, a relatively meaningless one for Eastern, seemed to take a backseat to the departure of Eastern’s four seniors. Each one was presented with a shadow boxed jersey before the game and was escorted on the court by their parents. Emotions were running high after game, as tears were shed by both parent and athlete alike.

Lennox and Tellez’s parents being in attendance was extra special for both players as Lennox’s parents came all the way from Tasmania and Tellez’s traveled from Spain. Each family has only been able to attend between four and six games in each of their careers.

“It was pretty awesome,” Tellez said. “They both were really emotional, which I understand, and I was just really happy to have them here.”

“It was really special for my family to come over,” Lennox said. “I kind of needed them there because my passion for basketball is very, very strong. I have been unfortunate that my body not going to allow me to keep playing, so it’s more of a really tough mental thing for me, so it was awesome that my family was there for me.”

The game itself saw Tennessee Tech grab momentum late in the second quarter and never gave it back. The Golden Eagles finished the game shooting 56 percent as a team and an outlandish 71.4 percent in the fourth quarter alone.

Akia Harris had 27 points on 8-of-8 shooting for Tennessee Tech.

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