Women’s basketball loses second game in a row


Han Byer

Senior guard Lariah Washington (22), passes the ball to a teammate, avoiding the hands of Brave freshman guard Lucia Llaveria (2), during the women’s basketball game at Lantz Arena Tuesday night. Washington led the Panthers with 19 points and 4 assists. The Panthers lost 72-61 to the Bradley Braves.

Kate Stevens, Assistant Sports Editor

The Eastern women’s basketball team struggled to put up shots against Bradley Tuesday evening in Lantz Arena, leading it to its second loss in a row.

The Braves beat the Panthers 72-61.

Coach Matt Bollant said this game was not played to the best of his team’s ability and they need to be competitive in order to get games won.

“I just felt like the start of the game was not what we were looking for at all,” Bollant said. “We talked a lot about playing four quarters and competing and coming ready to go after a disappointing start to the game the other day and we didn’t answer.”

He said the team dug itself a hole at the beginning of the game as they did against Northern Illinois last Saturday, but they were not able to get themselves out of it.

Senior forward Morgan Litwiller said the team needs to understand the assignment and go out there and complete it.

“This is two games in a row that we have not followed the assignment and let the same people beat us the same way,” Litwiller said.

Senior forward Morgan Litwiller (24), one-hand passes the ball to a teammate during an offensive posession during the women’s basketball game in Lantz Arena Tuesday evening. Litwiller was third on the team with 11 points and led with six rebounds. The Panthers lost 72-61 against the Bradley Braves. (Han Byer)

Senior guard Lariah Washington said that the teams who come to EIU to play know that they are playing a good team, so they come ready to compete.

“I will say every team that comes here, they’re coming to compete with us,” Washington said. “We’re looked at as a better team now than I think we ever have been, so everyone’s coming here to compete.

She also said that no matter the opponent, the team needs to be ready so that they can start strong and get the win.

“We have to come out and be ready to play every single game, and for some reason today we weren’t, which is crazy to me because we just lost the last game,” Washington said. “So, I just feel like we need to come out ready to play way better than we did today.”

The team started the game with a 31.4 shooting percentage as they shot 11-35 going into halftime. The shots were just not falling for Eastern as they struggled to put up shots in the paint and on the perimeter.

The team looked a little better after the half. In the second half, they had a 43.4 shooting percentage.

Bollant said the team looked better coming out of the half, but they still made mistakes which ultimately led to the loss.

“I felt like in the second half we had some runs, had some chances, played better and gave ourselves a look,” Bollant said. “We just didn’t get the stops when we had to have them, or we didn’t make a layup or didn’t make the open threes when we had to have those.”

Washington led the Panthers in points as she put up 19 and sophomore forward Macy McGlone and Litwiller also helped to put some points on the board for EIU as they scored 13 and 11 respectively.

One of the things that has been going well for the Panthers so far this season is the depth of their bench. Against Bradley, EIU’s bench outscored Bradley 14-7. Litwiller said that was encouraging and it shows that the bench is ready when they are called.

“It shows that were super deep, and that even if some of our starting five does not come out ready to go, our bench is ready to go, so that’s super encouraging,” Litwiller said.

Eastern will travel to Wisconsin this weekend to take on the 2-5 Milwaukee Panthers at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

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