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

Eastern women go 1-1 in games this past week

Eastern was able to rebound after a close loss to Morehead State with a win against Western Illinois. (Rob Le Cates)

The Eastern women’s basketball team started their week of games with a close loss to the Morehead State University Eagles in the final seconds but were able to end it with a win against the Western Illinois University Leathernecks on Saturday.

Against Morehead State, the Panthers had a slow start, scoring 14 points compared to the Eagles 24. They were able to turn it around in the second quarter, scoring 21 points while only allowing 12 from Morehead State.

“Going into the second quarter, Coach literally just said ‘It’s about our defense,’” junior guard Miah Monahan said. “Like we got to figure it out, and it was more just like effort-wise. They weren’t doing anything special. We just had to lock in on defense and just give our best effort.”

After the first half, the score remained close for the rest of the game and was tied at 67 after a three pointer was made by sophomore guard Ellie Buzzelle with nine seconds left. Buzzelle also led the game in points with 20, which tied her season-high.

Morehead State was able to convert a layup with three seconds left, and Eastern was not able to make their next shot to tie the game. Eastern ended up losing 69-67.

After the game, Head Coach Matt Bollant said that he wanted the team to play harder in their next game.

“Let’s figure out Saturday if we can play harder than Western,” Bollant said. “If you want to hit a home run, you got to touch first base. [Touching] first base is playing hard, and we didn’t do a good enough job of that tonight.”

In the first three quarters of their game against Western Illinois, the Panthers were playing hard, but they just couldn’t get their three-pointers to fall. Eastern missed 15 straight three-pointers until Buzzelle was able to make one with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Before the fourth quarter, Eastern was playing good defense, holding the Leathernecks to 31% from the field in those three quarters. Once they saw that three-pointer go in, they went on a 12-0 run and never looked back, outscoring Western Illinois 31-19 in the fourth quarter, and winning the game 72-63.

“I felt like we got more aggressive,” Bollant said. “We started getting in the paint. Ellis started coming off ball screens, and Tiny and we started getting really good shots. Once we saw it go in, our confidence kept rising.”

One of the biggest factors in the Panther’s improved scoring in the second half was freshman guard Lalani Ellis. Ellis had one point at the end of the first half but finished the game with 17 points and a perfect six for six from the field.

Junior forward Taris Thornton went down at the end of the first half with a sprained ankle, and Bollant said that they needed someone to step up in her place.

“Obviously Ellis was big stepping up in the second half because one of the things Taris does is get to the rim, and so we needed somebody to do that and Ellis did a good job of getting to the rim in the second half,” Bollant said.

 

Luther Yoder can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Luther Yoder
Luther Yoder, Assistant Sports Editor
Luther Yoder is a sophomore journalism major. This is his first year at The News.
Rob Le Cates
Rob Le Cates, Editor-in-Chief
Rob Le Cates is a junior journalism major. He previously served as summer editor-in-chief, photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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