Women’s basketball winning streak comes to an end


Rob Le Cates

Lariah Washington (22), recovers the ball to start pushing towards the Northern Illinois University Huskies’ basket during the women’s basketball game at Lantz Arena Saturday afternoon. Washington led the Panthers with 30 points, scoring .750 points per minute. The Panthers lost 71-69.

Kate Stevens, Assistant Sports Editor

The Eastern women’s basketball team was handed its first loss of the season as it was beat by Northern Illinois Saturday afternoon 71-69.

As the Panthers struggled in the first half, they came back in the second to keep the score neck and neck for the last 10 minutes. The Huskies were able to keep the lead over EIU until six minutes remained in the fourth quarter.

Coach Matt Bollant said if they would have played as well as they did in the second half as they did in the first, they would have had the game in the bag.

“We just didn’t play two halves,” Bollant said. “If we would have played the first half like we did the second half, I think we win by ten.”

Bollant also said they are not going to hang their heads about this one because of how well they played in the second half as they played a tough NIU team.

NIU’s A’Jah Davis recorded a double-double as she had 21 rebounds and 20 points. NIU’s scoring leader was Chelby Kolker, who recorded 26 points.

Bollant said they have not played against a player like Davis yet this season and said her 20 points and 21 rebounds said something about her physical presence in the game.

Senior guard Lariah Washington played every second of the game, which led to a 30-point, three steal, three assist, and five rebound game for her.

She and senior forward Morgan Litwiller said although the result was not what the team wanted, they are encouraged by the way the team can rally and get back into the game if needed.

“Even though we started off slow in the beginning, just being able to come out there and do what we do at the end,” Washington said. “It sucks that we ended this way, but just knowing that we can come back from stuff like that is encouraging. We just got to fix it and play a full game.”

Litwiller echoed Washington’s thoughts and added that this team won’t back down any time soon.

“Our fight was huge,” Litwiller said. “I think that says a lot about our team, that even if you get up on us, we’re not going to ever back down. And I think another thing that was encouraging is that a lot of different people did a lot of good things and that can be hard to stop a team when you have multiple people that are good factors out there.”

EIU does have several weapons on the team that have helped lead the Panthers to their 6-1 record to begin the season.

Sophomore forward Macy McGlone played well down low as she recorded six total rebounds, four blocks, and recorded nine points. She has been a top player for them to begin the season.

Litwiller has also been a top performer for EIU as she recorded five rebounds, five points, two assists, and a block in Saturday’s game.

Sophomore guards Miah Monahan and Juila Bengston have been keys for the Panthers as well. Monahan recorded 12 points and four assists and Bengston recorded four rebounds and five points in the game.

EIU has been playing well off the bench as well this season. There was not too much bench action for them Saturday, but overall, players such as junior forward Emily Meidel,

Sophomore forward Taris Thornton, junior forward Hannah Purcell, freshman guard Lyric Johnson, and junior guard Jacqueline Maulucci have been key players off the bench for EIU as they have racked up the stats in the first seven games.

Kate Stevens can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]