Women’s basketball team has win streak snapped against Tennessee Tech


Ashanti Thomas | The Daily Eastern News

Eastern forward Abby Wahl attempts a shot in the paint in Eastern’s game against Tennessee Tech on Thursday in Lantz Arena. Wahl had 17 points in the game, which Eastern lost 65-56.

Adam Tumino, Sports Editor

The Eastern women’s basketball team lost Thursday for the first time since Jan. 24, falling to Tennessee Tech 65-56. The loss snapped a five-game win streak for the Panthers, whose last loss was also against the Golden Eagles.

The game was tied at halftime but the Panthers were outscored 39-30 in the second half, including 22-16 in the fourth quarter. They shot just 9-of-24 from the field in the second half.

It was the lowest-scoring game of the OVC season for Eastern, which previously scored 57 points in a loss to Belmont on Jan. 1.

Eastern head coach Matt Bollant said that he did not think the team played especially well and Tennessee Tech executed better late in the game.

“I think Tech did a good job guarding. We just didn’t play well offensively,” he said. “I thought in the first half we guarded really well but we just never really got in a flow and we never got going offensively. Give Tech a lot of credit. I think they did a good job switching it up, playing their matchup zone. We just didn’t play well offensively throughout.”

The Panthers are now 8-5 in conference play and remain in fifth place in the conference. All five of their conference losses are to the four teams above them in the standings. They still have rematches with Belmont on Feb. 17 and Austin Peay to close out the regular season on Feb. 26.

As Eastern heads toward Evansville and the OVC Tournament starting on March 2, Bollant said that the team needs to continue to grow and compete.

“We’ve got to grow,” he said. “A loss hopefully will help us grow. We played a really good stretch, won seven out of eight, five in a row, and today we didn’t play well. So let’s make sure we grow.”

While the Panther offense struggled as a whole, senior forward Abby Wahl scored 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting to lead the team. Junior guard Lariah Washington was the only other Eastern player to score in double figures with 14 points. Kira Arthofer added seven points and a team-high seven assists.

Tennessee Tech was led by forward Mackenzie Coleman with 23 points, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter. She also had a game-high with 12 rebounds and shot 8-of-14 from the floor and 2-of-5 from three.

Wahl said that she thinks the loss can help the team heading into Saturday’s home game against Tennessee-Martin and heading into the rest of the season.

“I think losses kind of fuel our fire,” she said. “We know our talent, we know how good we are, and we just use that as motivation to play even harder on Saturday.”

Eastern’s game Saturday against Tennessee-Martin will tip off at 1 p.m. It is the annual Care Game for the Panthers.


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