Panthers win double-overtime thriller against Evansville


Rob Le Cates | The Daily Eastern

Junior guard Lariah Washington put up a shot at the women’s basketball game Saturday at Lantz Areana. Washinton led the team with 25 points. The Panthers won 85-74 to the Purple Aces in a double overtime.

Will Simmons, Women's Basketball Reporter

An 85-74 win in double overtime Saturday night, extends the Eastern women’s basketball team’s streak to 3-0. The Panthers finished strong in the second overtime outscoring Evansville 15-4 to win by double digits in a game that was neck and neck for points in the second half.

Lariah Washington scored seven in overtime, and lead the Panther’s with 25 total points. The Panthers helped their cause in the third quarter and second overtime by racking up a combined 41 points in those two periods.

Washington said that the team was able to play well offensively at those times by playing as a unit.

“Finding what works, the guards in the low block, I think helped, and everyone just doing their part to score and find ways to, you know, win this game,” Washington said.

Eastern won against a strong Evansville team that came into this game with a 3-0 record, and head coach Matt Bollant knew the Purple Aces would be a challenge.

“They beat Austin Peay, you know, they beat Eastern Kentucky, two teams that I think are pretty talented,” he said. “Eastern saw a much different team than the last time they played Evansville, when the Panthers won handily, 90-44.”

The third quarter was when Eastern really hit their stride making 9-of-14 from the field and 8-of-10 from the line. Evansville saw a more focused Eastern team, outscoring their opponent 26-19. Bollant attributed the Panther’s 64 percent from the field in the third to the Panthers being able to slow it down after the half.

“Offensively we finally had a good quarter, we scored 26, and the first half we just were too rushed and we weren’t used to the press, we turned it over too much,” Bollant said.

All this happened after Eastern’s rough start with 14 turnovers for Eastern leading to 10 points for the Purple Aces in the first half.

“Once we calmed down in the third quarter and on we did a much better job of taking care of it,” he said.

All in all Washington thinks their performance Saturday night will help build on the Panthers’ current winning attitude.

“I think this was a really big game for us, and to see us be able to pull this off gives us a lot of confidence going into the rest of the games we have coming up,” Washington said.

You can see the Panthers try and continue their winning streak on Nov. 22, when they play Oakland City at Lantz Arena. It will be the Kid’s Day Game for Eastern.


Will Simmons can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].