The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

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EIU gets a win over North Dakota on Kids Day

Junior forward Macy McGlone (33) led the game in points (16) and rebounds (13). (File)

The Panther’s women’s basketball team scored 67 points in a win against the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks at the Eastern Kid’s Day Game. Groniger Arena was filled with hundreds of elementary and middle schoolers cheering on the Panthers.

Eighth graders from Charleston Middle School, Amiya Shirair and Kelsie McMillin, brought up how exciting the environment was at Groniger

“[The team] definitely put on a big show today, so thank you,” Amiya and Kelsie said.

The Panthers certainly put on a show for the 2546 fans in attendance, the largest home crowd this year. Eastern started fast, scoring nine unanswered points in the first three minutes of the first quarter. Excellent defense and opportunistic offense put the score at 22-7 by the end of the first quarter.

Sophomore guard Ellie Buzzelle noticed how the young fans affected North Dakota and her team.

“I think it was good for us to have fans cheering, obviously right away it was energized,” Buzzelle said. “Also, I think that’s a struggle for North Dakota to get used to hearing [the fans] and communicating through that.”

The Panthers maintained their strong lead throughout the first half, ending 46-20. The second quarter shared a similar theme with the first, with good defense and an aware offense.

Head Coach Matt Bollant noted how his team produced very well offensively before halftime.

“I thought we did a good job of attacking and having an attack mentality,” Bollant said. “I thought we did a good job of getting good shots in the first half.”

The Panthers broke 50 points one minute into the third quarter when junior forward Macy McGlone hit a layup, putting the score at 50-22. Eastern benched the starters in this quarter, allowing North Dakota to begin chipping away the Panthers lead. Regardless, the third quarter ended in Eastern’s favor 56-38.

North Dakota began creeping back into the game in the fourth quarter, cutting the Panther’s lead down to 10 points three minutes in.

Bollant made note of this comeback. He discussed being disappointed with the team because they didn’t play up to Eastern’s standards in the second half.

“I feel like we definitely let down,” Bollant said. “As a coaching staff, it’s something that we got to work on, make sure we keep our edge. I told [the players] ‘We’re trying to build a culture; we are trying to be great. You were great in the first half; you were not in the second half.’”

Regardless of the fourth-quarter slump, the Panthers were able to maintain at least a 10-point lead for the rest of the quarter, winning the game 67-55

Junior forward Macy McGlone, who leads OVC in double doubles, got another one today.

She talked about how she feels good about her performance, but even better that the team got a win.

“I feel good, it’s nice to have another double-double,” McGlone said. “I don’t know, honestly, I’m just glad we won.”

The win moves Eastern to 3-6 on the year, as well as dropping North Dakota to 3-6.

Eastern’s women’s basketball team will be playing again Saturday, Dec. 9 against Milwaukee. This game will take place at Lake Land College in Mattoon at 6 p.m.

Aidan Cusack can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Han Byer, Photographer
Han Byer is a senior sociology major and she can be reached at 581-2912 or at [email protected].

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