Panthers to open regular season Tuesday


Ashanti Thomas | The Daily Eastern News

Kira Arthofer, a senior guard, faces an Illinois Wesleyan player during an exhibition on Nov. 3 in Lantz Arena. Arthofer scored a total of 16 points. The Panthers won 83-54 against the Titans.

Adam Tumino, Sports Editor

After playing an exhibition last week, the Eastern women’s basketball team will open the regular season Tuesday at home. 

The Panthers will host Lindenwood at 6 p.m. from Lantz Arena. These two teams played in 2019, with the Panthers winning 88-66. It was the first-ever meeting between the programs. 

Both teams are coming off exhibitions, with Eastern playing Nov. 3 and Lindenwood playing Oct. 28. 

The Lions played Missouri, losing 87-39. 

Eastern hosted Illinois Wesleyan, beating the Titans 83-54.

In that game, senior guard Kira Arthofer led the team with 16 points and 7 steals. Junior guard Lariah Washington and senior forward Abby Wahl scored 15 and 12 points respectively, and each grabbed 8 rebounds. 

Both Washington and Wahl were named to the preseason All OVC team. 

Tuesday will be the first regular season for Eastern’s four freshman, who each saw the floor in the exhibition against Illinois Wesleyan. 

Guard Miah Monahan scored 13 points while shooting 50 percent from the floor. Julia Bengston scored 9 points while shooting 4-of-5 in the game. 

Center Ellie Colson collected a rebound and a steal in 5 minutes and forward Taris Thornton scored 6 points with 5 rebounds, also in 5 minutes off the bench. 

Lindenwood has a large group of returning players this season, including the top eight scorers from last season’s team that went 11-9 in a conference-only schedule. 

Guards Julia Ruzevich and Devin Fuhring figure to be a large part of the Lions’ game plan Tuesday. 

Fuhring led the team last season with 17.4 points per game and was named second team All-GLVC after starting all 20 games. 

Ruzevich also started all 20 games, averaging 17.1 points per game. She also led the team with 10.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.  

Anchoring the frontcourt for the Lions this season will be forward Ellen McCorkle, who averaged 15.4 points and 8 rebounds per game last season.

Both Fuhring and Ruzevich started in the previous matchup with Eastern in 2019, scoring 12 and 10 points respectively. 

McCorkle played 14 minutes off the bench, scoring 4 points with 4 rebounds.

A pair of Eastern returners also scored in double figures in that game. 

Wahl scored 16 points and collected 6 rebounds while guard Jordyn Hughes scored a career-high 24 points off the bench on 9-of-15 shooting including 4-of-7 from three-point range. 

Washington scored 1 points in 13 minutes in the game, the first regular season game of a season which saw her earn OVC Freshman of the Year and first team All-OVC honors. 

On the sidelines for the Panthers will be head coach Matt Bollant, now in his fifth season at Eastern. 

Lindenwood is led by head coach Katie Falco, now in her fourth season with the Lions. 


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