Wahl scores 34 in Eastern win

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

After struggling in a loss Jan. 21, the Eastern women’s basketball team bounced back Saturday with a 73-55 road win against Tennessee State.

The Panthers improved to 5-5 in OVC play with the win and have now won four of their last five conference games after losing four of five to begin conference play.

After being outscored 19-17 in the first quarter, Eastern outscored the Tigers 56-36 the rest of the way, using a 25-10 fourth quarter to seal the win.

Eastern shot 50 percent from the field in the game while holding Tennessee State to just 35.7 percent. This split was even more extreme in the fourth quarter, when Eastern shot 10-of-15 and Tennessee State shot 4-of-16.

Eastern also had more rebounds, assists, blocks and steals than the Tigers. The only area Tennessee State posted better numbers than Eastern was in three-point shooting, although neither team shot it particularly well from deep. The Tigers shot 26.1 percent from three while Eastern shot 22.7 percent.

Leading the way for Eastern in the game was junior forward Abby Wahl, who has been one of the most productive players in the OVC this season.

Wahl had her best offensive game of the season Saturday, scoring a career-high 34 points. This is the highest point total for an Eastern player this season and is the most points scored by an Eastern player since Lariah Washington scored 35 points against Murray State on Jan. 30, 2020.

Wahl shot 14-of-17 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line while gathering 7 rebounds as well.

Wahl is in fifth place in the OVC in scoring and rebounding with 16.3 points per game and 8.3 points per game.

Sophomore Morgan Litwiller scored 13 points and had a career-high 5 assists in the game and junior Kira Arthofer scored in double figures for the third time this season with 11 points.

Karle Pace scored just 5 points, nearly 9 points below her season average, but contributed in other ways with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.

Only five Tennessee State players scored in the game, with senior guards Andreana Wrister and Taylor Roberts scoring 20 points each, accounting for nearly 73 percent of the team’s total points.

Back to Eastern, the win followed in a recent trend for the Panther defense.

They are allowing just 60.2 points per game in their last five conference games after allowing 72.6 in their first five.

The Panther defense will have to continue to play well this week when they play road games against Tennessee-Martin Jan. 28 and Southeast Missouri Jan. 30.

Tennessee-Martin forward Chelsey Perry is leading the nation in scoring with 28.4 points per game and Southeast Missouri’s Tesia Thompson is second in the OVC averaging 19.2 points per game.

Tennessee-Martin is in first place in the OVC with a 6-1 conference record and Southeast Missouri is second at 6-2.

 

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