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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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Panthers’ run in OVC Tournament examined

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Eastern women’s basketball head coach Matt Bollant directs players during Eastern’s game against Southern Indiana at the OVC Tournament.

Eastern’s women’s team clinched a spot in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament for the fifth year in a row.

Eastern came into the tournament as the fourth seed, so the Panthers did not have to play until Thursday, March 7.

The day before, the Panthers’ possible opponents between the fifth seeded Morehead State Eagles and the eighth seeded Tennessee State Tigers.

Tennessee State ended up winning the game over Morehead State 58-50 to advance on to play the Panthers on Thursday.

Although the game was fairly close in the first half, the Panthers extended their lead late in the fourth quarter as they beat the Tigers 60-48 to move on to the semifinals.

“I’m really proud of the team,” Panthers’ head coach Matt Bollant said after the Tennessee State game. “It was not an easy game, and I thought it was a good lesson to stay with stuff. We didn’t have many things going right, and I felt the offensive rebounding kept us in the first half.”

Panthers’ junior forward Macy McGlone recorded a double-double against the Tigers, as she ended the game with 22 points and 12 rebounds.

One player that also put in valuable minutes was senior guard Emily Meidel. She recorded 11 rebounds along with four points and two blocks.

With this win, the Panthers were set to play the number one seed in the conference tournament, the Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles.

Before the tournament, Southern Indiana has lost only one game in the OVC conference, so the Panthers knew this would be a competitive matchup.

The Panthers kept game close throughout the first three quarters, but the Screaming Eagles outscored the Panthers 19-9 in the fourth quarter to obtain the 69-54 win.

“We didn’t make enough plays in the fourth quarter,” Bollant said after the Southern Indiana game. “We had some shots that hung on the rim and didn’t fall down, and we just needed a few of those to go in.”

McGlone, Eastern’s leading scorer throughout the season only scored four points against Southern Indiana.

Junior guard Miah Monahan led the Panthers in scoring against the Screaming Eagles, recording 15 points. Meidel followed with an additional 11 points, and junior forward Taris Thornton recorded 10 of her own points.

Here are some aspects of the game that played a role in the Panthers’ semifinal loss:

  1. Lack of three-pointers

Along with the Tennessee State game, Eastern also struggled from the three-point line against Southern Indiana.

Eastern was six of 23 from the three-point line. One of Eastern’s best three-point shooters, sophomore guard Ellie Buzzelle, shot one of six from behind the arc.

Monahan shot two of five and Meidel was three of six from the three-point line as well.

  1. The rebounding battle

The rebounding battle might be the most important part of the game besides the scoring aspect.

Eastern got out-rebounded by Southern Indiana 45-37. Although a margin of eight rebounds isn’t a huge margin, rebounds can be a factor on if a team wins or not.

The Panthers ended their season with a 15-18 overall record and an 11-7 OVC record.

 

Zaria Flippin can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Zaria Flippin, Sports Editor
Zaria Flippin is a junior sports media relations major. This is her first year at The News.

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