Women’s basketball team sunk by 3rd-quarter struggles

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

The OVC Tournament hopes for the Eastern women’s basketball team got a little shakier Thursday when the Panthers suffered 69-52 a road loss against Murray State.

Eastern is still in the eighth and final tournament spot, but with a conference record of 7-10, they are at risk of falling out of the tournament in the last three games of the season.

Murray State improved to 9-8 on OVC play with the win and remained in seventh place in the conference.

Eastern was hanging with the Racers for the first half, trailing 34-30 at halftime.

Eastern shot 37.9 percent from the first half and 50 percent from three-point range while Murray State shot 45.2 percent, but only 16.7 percent from three.

It was a cold third quarter that led to the Panthers’ loss.

They shot just 1-of-16 from the field in the quarter, scoring just 5 points compared to Murray State’s 17.

The fourth quarter was much closer, with Murray State edging out Eastern 18-17, but it was too little too late for the Panthers.

They shot just 27.9 percent from the field for the game. Murray State’s opponents had been shooting 42.1 percent from the field this season.

The 52 points by the Panthers is also the fewest allowed by the Racers this season. They had the third-worst defense in the conference coming into the game, allowing 68.6 points per game.

A major individual matchup in the game was between Eastern junior Abby Wahl and Murray State freshman Katelyn Young, two of the best forwards in the OVC.

Wahl entered the game ranking fifth in the OVC in scoring and seventh in rebounds while Young ranked 11th in scoring and first in rebounding.

Young won the matchup Thursday, finishing with game highs in both points with 20 and rebounds with 13. She recorded a double-double before halftime with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Wahl also player well, especially early on. She had 9 points and 8 rebounds in the game, but only scored 1 point in the second half.

Sophomore Lariah Washington led the Panthers with 13 points and Jordyn Hughes was second with 11 points. They were the only Eastern players to score in double figures.

Eastern’s next game is Saturday at 1 p.m. against Austin Peay on the road.

The Governors are 9-5 in conference play this season and are in fifth place in the conference.

 

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