Both the Eastern men’s and women’s basketball teams were in Clarksville, Tennessee, Saturday to take on Austin Peay.
Each team picked up a win over the Governors with the women’s team winning 62-59 and the men winning 76-69.
The Panthers snapped a three-game losing streak with their win Saturday. They are now 8-10 in conference play and remain in the eighth and final OVC Tournament spot with two games remaining in the season.
Austin Peay is now 9-6 in conference play and in sixth place in the standings.
The Eastern offence shot nearly 50 percent in the game while holding the Governors to just under 40 percent from the field.
A quick start set the tone for the Panthers. They shot 7-of-11 from the field in the opening quarter and holding the Governors to just 3-of-13 from the field.
The strong starts for the Eastern offense and defense made it possible for them to withstand a strong second half from Austin Peay.
The Governors shot 14-of-28 in the second half, with the fourth quarter being their best of the game. They opened the final quarter on a 13-0 run and took a one-point lead over the Panthers.
Eastern was able to stop Austin Peay’s momentum by scoring the next six points and then holding on for the win.
Four Panthers scored in double figures, led by Abby Wahl 18 points and Karle Pace with 13. The game also marked the return of sophomore forward Morgan Litwiller. She played 11 minutes odd the bench after missing the last six games.
The Panthers play again Feb. 25 at home against Southeast Missouri. The game is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.
The win against Austin Peay was the second-straight upset win for the Panthers, who had beaten Murray State two days earlier.
Eastern is now 6-12 in OVC play and is in ninth place, just one spot outside the OVC Tournament with two games to go.
Whereas a strong first half led the women’s team to victory, the men’s team relied on their second half success to get a win.
Although they shot well in the first half, going 11-of-22 from the field and 5-of-8 from three-point range, they were outscored by the Governors 33-30 in the first half.
They shot even better in the second half, going 15-of-25 from the field while holding Austin Peay to 13-of-33 from the field.
For the game, Eastern shot over 55 percent from the field while holding Austin Peay to just over 38 percent.
Three Eastern players scored in double figures in the game, led by senior guard Mack Smith with a season-high 22 points.
Smith shot 5-of-5 from three and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line, both of which led the team.
Senior forward Jordan Skipper-Brown recorded his second straight double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds while senior guard Marvin Johnson added 12 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
For Austin Peay, presumptive player of the year Terry Taylor had a game-high 25 points.
The Panthers’ next game is Feb. 25 against Southeast Missouri in Lantz Arena at 7:30 p.m.
Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]