Panthers win 1st road game of season

Eastern+forward+Abby+Wahl+defends+an+opponent+at+the+top+of+the+key+in+a+game+against+Lindenwood+on+Nov.+9+in+Lantz+Arena.+Wahl+had+6+points+and+3+rebounds+in+the+game%2C+which+Eastern+won+86-30.+

Rob Le Cates | The Daily Eastern News

Eastern forward Abby Wahl defends an opponent at the top of the key in a game against Lindenwood on Nov. 9 in Lantz Arena. Wahl had 6 points and 3 rebounds in the game, which Eastern won 86-30.

Jonas Engelhart, Women's Basketball Reporter

The Eastern’s women’s basketball team collected another win in their second game of the season as they won 64-55 against Indiana State in Terre Haut on Wednesday night.

It was a close game throughout the first three quarters until Eastern stepped on the gas in the fourth period, outscoring Indiana State by 9 points and winning it 20-11.

The first half was low in points and high in missed shots and turnovers which are the reasons why the halftime score was low and Indiana State led Eastern 27-25 at the break. 

While Eastern started off shooting 4-of-13 in the first quarter, the defense performed well, forcing 7 turnovers in the quarter.

“I thought our defense was pretty solid throughout,” Eastern’s head coach Matt Bollant said. “We forced them into 17 turnovers in the first half. I thought that was huge.”

Although Indiana State shot 40 percent from the field and therefore slightly more than Eastern, 25 total turnovers were too much for the Sycamores to overcome in the game. 

But Bollant also added that his team didn’t play well offensively at all in the first quarter, only scoring 10 points. The longer the game lasted, the more points Eastern scored in each quarter. 

“We scored 15 in the second, 19 in the third, 20 in the fourth. It just took us a while,” Bollant said.

Two important factors for Eastern’s win were strong performances by senior center Abby Wahl and senior guard Kira Arthofer.

Abby Wahl put up a game high of 17 points and grabbed 8 rebounds including 5 offensive rebounds while shooting 7-of-8 from the free throw line.

Kira Arthofer scored a career high 16 points, dished out 7 assists and stole the ball 4 times. Compared to last season “she is a lot more skilled,” Bollant said. “She’s just doing a lot of different things better.”

Junior guard Lariah Washington finished the game with 11 points while senior guard Jordyn Hughes contributed 10 points and 3 rebounds to the win.

In difference to last week’s 86-30 blowout win against Lindenwood, which saw the bench players play significant minutes, Bollant mostly relied on the starters on Wednesday. 

“We went early to the bench, and I just didn’t feel like the bench played quite as well in the first road game”, Bollant said.

The bench played little and only shot a combined 1-11 from the field. Freshman guard Julia Bengtson scored the only three bench points for Eastern. Moreover, Bollant emphasized that they wanted to stick with the veterans down the stretch who know how to play defensively in such close games.

Indiana State’s junior top scorer Adrian Folks was held to a team high of 15 points. She was defended by Eastern’s junior forward Morgan Litwiller, who held Folks to just 4 points in the second half. Litwiller scored 7 points and finished with a plus/minus of +16.

Eastern’s next game is on Saturday, Nov. 20, against Evansville at Lantz Arena. 

 

Jonas Engelhart can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]