Women’s basketball breaks EIU’s consecutive OVC win record


Han Byer

Eastern forward, Taris Thornton (25), holds up a “W” with her hands, as the game ends, resulting in Eastern’s 12th win of the season, breaking their “Best Start in the OVC” record in Lantz Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Cam'ron Hardy, Sports Reporter

After the women’s basketball team won against Tennessee State University in a 75-58 victory, it broke the EIU record for the longest win streak in the Ohio Valley Conference at 12 consecutive wins.

The last time Eastern had a record this long was during their 2009-2010 season. Head coach Matt Bollant was seen cheering and huddling with students in the crowd after the game.

The team also celebrated its annual CARE game to support and spread awareness for breast cancer. With this, Eastern’s players wore grey and pink jerseys. Faculty waited at the entrance and gave students papers to write in the name of a loved one that passed away to hold up at the beginning of the game.

The Panthers started the game strong with their ball movement, allowing them to finish the first quarter with a 21-14 lead. Bollant said he thought the team’s motion was the helping factor with moving the ball so well.

Both teams had a low scoring second quarter with the Tigers only scoring 11 and the Panthers scoring 14. The Panthers’ ball movement continued, allowing them to have 10 assists over the Tigers’ 2 assists.

Starting the third quarter, the Tigers did a full court press, but it could not stop the Panthers.

The Panthers’ biggest lead throughout the game was 21, which was met during the third quarter. Miah Monahan, a guard for Eastern, stole the ball from Tennessee and hit Macy McGlone for a nice layup with a sneaky assist.

Eastern guard, Miah Monahan (3), gets ready to pass the ball inbounds to a teammate, after the ball went out of bounds from a Tennessee State player in Lantz Arena on Saturday afternoon. (Han Byer)

The Panthers ended the third quarter leading 60-41.

The Tigers continued their full court press which allowed them to go on a 11-1 run, narrowing the lead down to 10 points, but Eastern continued their ball movement and was able to score.

Bollant said the team might have panicked a little when they noticed the run.

“As a head coach, probably the hardest thing you deal with is [having] a lead and then you start to lose it,” Bollant said.

He also said that he didn’t want the team to lose their sense of urgency just because they had a lead, which he said might have happened during the other teams’ run, but overall, they knew how to respond.

McGlone was the leading scorer for the game, ending the game with 22 points and 6 rebounds.

Bollant said he thought the girls played well and “fresh.”

“I thought we executed the game plan really well and just played smart,” Bollant said. “…As a team, we just had good poise today, and we didn’t get hurried [or] rushed even with their pressure.”

The Panthers now have a 19-3 overall record.

“I just feel like its so special,” Monahan said. “Just from last year to this year, [and to] see the difference. All the work we put in from pre-season and to see it pay off right now, I just feel like its really special.”

“It feels pretty good, “McGlone said. “It’s my first year here and to come in and all of a sudden we’re [tying] for reference, she said that we tied where I put brackets but no one was sure if we broke or tied the record, not even the coach. But after we talked and saw that we only tied, I just assumed these records, it’s pretty awesome.”

The women’s basketball team will face the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks in Lantz Arena on Thursday at 5 p.m.