Women’s basketball team starts OVC play 1-1

Freshman+forward+Taris+Thornton+prepares+to+throw+the+ball+in+bounds+at+the+Nov.+19%2C+2021+women%E2%80%99s+basketball+game+at+Lantz+Arena+against+Lindenwood+University.+Thorton+played+15%3A12+and+scored+10+points.+The+Panthers+won+86-30.+

Rob Le Cates

Freshman forward Taris Thornton prepares to throw the ball in bounds at the Nov. 19, 2021 women’s basketball game at Lantz Arena against Lindenwood University. Thorton played 15:12 and scored 10 points. The Panthers won 86-30.

Adam Tumino, Sports Editor

The Eastern women’s basketball team started conference play over Winter Break, starting off with an OVC record of 1-1.

The Panthers would have had two more conference games under their belt as well, but their Jan. 6 game against Murray State and Jan. 8 game against Tennessee Tech were both postponed due to health and safety protocols within Eastern’s program.

Prior to the conference opener, Eastern also played a nonconference game against Lipcsomb, which they lost 54-47. They also had a nonconference game against Wisconsin canceled due to COVID issues with Wisconsin.

Once the Panthers took the court in conference play, they took care of Morehead State with relative ease, winning 91- 64.

Eastern dominated the Eagles on the boards, outrebounding them 50-25. The Panthers had 17 offensive rebounds and converted them to 21 second-chance points.

Morehead State had just four offensive rebounds as a team.

The Panthers shot 13-of-27 from three-point range in the game, led by junior Morgan Litwiller who shot 5-of-8 from deep. She led the team with a season-high 18 points in the game.

Senior forward Abby Wahl led the team with eight rebounds and finished fourth with 14 points.

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Junior guard Lariah Washington and senior guard Jordyn Hughes added 17 points apiece.

The 91 points in the game set a new high for the Panthers this season.

Their next game was against perennial OVC powerhouse Belmont, who the Panthers have not beaten since Jan. 10, 2015.

Belmont entered the game ranked No. 19 in the College Insider Women’s Mid-Major Top 25.

The Bruins pulled away in the second half to win their eighth-straight game against Eastern.

The Panthers outscored Belmont 18-15 in the first quarter, but the Bruins outscored Eastern 56-39 the rest of the way.

Neither offense shot particularly well, with Eastern shooting just 30.9 percent and Belmont shooting 37.1 percent from the field.

The Panthers won the turnover battle once again, forcing 17 turnovers while turning the ball over 13 times. They continue to lead the OVC in turnover margin this season.

While the Panther offense as a whole struggled, Washington had another strong game. She scored a team-high 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting before fouling out late in the game.

After the two postponements, the Panthers are scheduled to host Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Thursday afternoon.

 

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