STAFF EDITORIAL: Congrats to Eastern basketball

Staff Editorial

The editorial board of The Daily Eastern News would like to congratulate Eastern’s men’s and women’s basketball teams on both making the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.

Eastern’s women’s team clinched a tournament berth last week with a win over Murray State, and Eastern’s men’s team clinched a berth with 72-70 win against Southeast Missouri Thursday night.

This year will mark the first season since 2014-2015 where both of Eastern’s basketball programs are represented in the conference tournament.

We at The Daily Eastern News would like to extend our sincerest congratulations to both programs for accomplishing something that has not been done at this school in five years. Both teams showed ample effort, performance and determination this season to get to this point.

The women’s team making the conference tournament is particularly worthy of celebration at Eastern. This is the first time the women’s team has made the tournament since 2014-2015, and the Panthers’ current 11-6 record is the team’s best since 2012-2013.

Prior to this season, the women’s team was picked to finish in 10th place and miss the tournament again in the OVC preseason poll. Instead, the Panthers appear to be headed to the conference’s No. 4 seed and will be one of the more dangerous teams in the postseason.

The men’s team also displayed a tremendous and admirable amount of conviction to make it to the conference tournament.

It was just over a week ago the men’s team was coming off back-to-back losses to Southern Illinois Edwardsville and Tennessee-Martin, two of the bottom teams in the OVC, and had just a 5-9 record with four conference games left to play.

At this point, Eastern was also headed into two games against first-place Murray State and Austin Peay. It looked as if Eastern’s season was closer to being over than it was to taking off.

But the Panthers rose to the occasion and beat Murray State in a historic 27-point second half comeback, winning the game on a three-pointer by guard Josiah Wallace.

The Panthers followed that performance with another comeback win in overtime against Austin Peay. And just like that, the Panthers were not just in the tournament hunt, but were almost a lock to make the tournament sporting a 7-9 record.

Again, the editorial board would like to applaud the Panther basketball teams for overcoming odds and making the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.

The Editorial Staff can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].