Panthers blown out by No. 17 Northwestern

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

For the final non-conference game of the season, the Eastern women’s basketball team faced off against No. 17 Northwestern on the road.

It was the first game of the season for the Wildcats, but they looked to be in midseason form, beating Eastern 93-57. The Panthers fell to 2-3 on the season with conference play beginning Dec. 18.

Eastern started off well against the Wildcats, getting out to an early 10-9 lead five minutes into the first quarter, led by sophomore Morgan Litwiller with 5 quick points.

Then the Wildcats took over, outscoring Eastern 44-12 in the remainder of the first half. Turnovers were a problem for Eastern in the first half as they gave the ball away 16 times and only forced 4 turnovers.

Northwestern scored 24 points off of Eastern’s first-half turnovers and shot 57.6 percent from the field.

Eastern shot efficiently in the first quarter, going 5-of-8 from the field, but shot just 2-of-13 in the second quarter, scoring only 6 points compared to Northwestern’s 26.

The second half was closer, with Northwestern only outscoring Eastern 40-35. The Panthers were also able to lightly reduce their number of turnovers in the second half, but still turned it over 8 times while only forcing 5.

One area where Eastern did outperform Northwestern for most of the game was three-point shooting.

The Panthers shot 10-of-19 from beyond the arc in the game while Northwestern shot 5-0f-13.

Sophomore Morgan Litwiller and freshman Haley Cameron made 3 three pointers each. Litwiller led the team with 12 points and Cameron scored 9 points, the first points of her collegiate career.

Junior forward Abby Wahl was held under control by the Northwestern defense, scoring just 8 points and tallying 5 rebounds. Wahl had been named OVC Player of the Week for the second straight week on Dec. 8 and was averaging 17.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game entering the matchup with Northwestern.

For the Wildcats, Veronica Burton led the team with 21 points and 6 assists. Senior guard Lindsey Pulliam finished second on the team with 18 points.

Eastern will be back at home on Dec. 18 to begin conference play against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, who the Panthers beat twice last season. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. from Lantz Arena.

 


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