Panthers win 3rd-straight, beat Eagles 67-62 in OT

Eastern+guard+Karle+Pace+faces+down+a+Morehead+State+defender+on+Feb.+8+in+Lantz+Arena.+Pace+scored+a+game-high+27+points+in+the+game%2C+a+67-62+overtime+win+for+the+Panthers.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Panthers win 3rd-straight, beat Eagles 67-62 in OT

Eastern guard Karle Pace faces down a Morehead State defender on Feb. 8 in Lantz Arena. Pace scored a game-high 27 points in the game, a 67-62 overtime win for the Panthers.

Eastern guard Karle Pace faces down a Morehead State defender on Feb. 8 in Lantz Arena. Pace scored a game-high 27 points in the game, a 67-62 overtime win for the Panthers.

Adam Tumino | The Daily Eastern News

Eastern guard Karle Pace faces down a Morehead State defender on Feb. 8 in Lantz Arena. Pace scored a game-high 27 points in the game, a 67-62 overtime win for the Panthers.

Adam Tumino | The Daily Eastern News

Adam Tumino | The Daily Eastern News

Eastern guard Karle Pace faces down a Morehead State defender on Feb. 8 in Lantz Arena. Pace scored a game-high 27 points in the game, a 67-62 overtime win for the Panthers.

Adam Tumino, Women's Basketball Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






After posting back-to-back blowout wins, a letdown seemed inevitable for the Eastern women’s basketball team Saturday afternoon against Morehead State.

But despite posting a scoreless second quarter and shooting just 33.3 percent from the field, the Panthers were able to hang on for a 67-62 overtime victory against the Eagles.

“I’m just proud of our team,” Eastern head coach Matt Bollant said. “They found a way today.”

The Panthers put the game away in overtime, outscoring Morehead State 12-7 in the extra period. Karle Pace led the team with five overtime points and recorded a game-high 27 points. Abby Wahl scored four points in overtime, including two free throws with three seconds left to put the Panthers up by five and seal the game.

Perhaps the biggest shot of the game was a three-pointer courtesy if Jordyn Hughes with 48 seconds left in overtime to put the Panthers up 65-60. The possession came as a result of a steal by Hughes, her second of the game.

“I thought Karle made big shots throughout, got us going early, and then obviously Jordyn’s steal and her three-point shot were a huge part of our win,” Bollant said.

Long before the final buzzer sounded, an Eastern win seemed unlikely after a second quarter in which the Panthers did not score a single point.

In fact, Eastern did not score for nearly 12 and a half minutes, from the 1:27 mark of the first quarter until 8:59 remaining in the third, and missed 19-consecutive field goal attempts.

Pace said that coming out of halftime, the team tried to put the second-quarter woes behind them.

“Before we came out, I was just like, “Forget about that second quarter, just throw it away, get it out of our minds. This is a new quarter and a new half,’” she said.

Luckily for the Panthers, Morehead State did not fare much better in the second quarter. The Eagles shot just 2-of-13 and scored seven points.

Hughes said she was happy with the way the team defended despite their shooting struggles.

“Previously, when we’d go stretches when we’re not scoring we won’t defend well, but I was proud of us and how we defended, even though we weren’t scoring. It kept us in the game for the third quarter.”

The third quarter was the Panthers’ most efficient of the game. They outscored the Eagles 20-12 while shooting 7-of-15 from the field including 3-of-6 from three.

“To not score, and then have the composure and toughness to have a great third quarter was big,” Bollant said.

The odd-numbered quarters is where the Panthers had most of their success, outscoring Morehead State 55-37 in the first quarter, third quarter and overtime. The Eagles had better luck in the even-numbered quarters, pacing the Panthers 25-12

Perhaps the Panthers’ biggest advantage in the game was in the turnover department. Eastern forced 25 turnovers, gathering 14 steals, and committed just 12 turnovers of their own.

“We were plus-10 on Thursday (against Eastern Kentucky) and plus-13 today, and obviously that’s huge,” Bollant said. “I thought the buzz was really good, obviously (Morehead State) was not shooting it well, and that team really wants to penetrate, which is hard to do against the buzz. I think we were aggressive, and I think we were smart.”

The game Saturday was definitely a change of pace for the Panthers. Their last two wins were by 29 points on Feb. 1 and 47 points on Thursday against Eastern Kentucky. It was evident early on that Morehead State would not go down as easily.

But the Panthers hit big shots late after not having the opportunities to in the last two games and after coming up short in their last loss, a 92-87 overtime loss to Murray State Jan. 30.

Bollant said he thinks it is beneficial for teams to have to face stressful late-game situations.

“It’s just good to have to go through it,” he said. “It’s just can you execute, can you be focused and do the right things even as you get a little bit tight. It’s good for them to have to go through it and its good for us coaches to have to go through it as well.”

Eastern’s next game will be at home on Feb. 13 against Southern Illinois Edwardsville at 5:15 p.m. Pace will enter the game just six points shy of 1,000 for her career. She would be the 25th player in the program’s history to reach that mark.

 

Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected],edu.