Plays favor EIU over Skyhawks
Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 12:00 pm
Kevin McMillan believes that every game comes down to three possessions. Monday night in Lantz Arena against host Eastern Illinois, all three of the possessions came in the final three minutes of the game.
Unfortunately for McMillan and his UT Martin women’s basketball team, Eastern Illinois had three possessions as well.
The Panthers outscored UTM, 8-2, in those six possessions and came away with a 70-63 victory in a key Ohio Valley Conference game where the winner claimed sole possession of first place.
“They had three possessions and they came away with eight points,” McMillan said.
Eastern Illinois’ knocked downed a 3-pointer with 1:29 to play and took a 66-61 lead. EIU also made four free throws down the stretch.
“In our three possessions, we made two free throws and missed a layup and a jumper,” McMillan said.
Recent history shows when Eastern Illinois and UT Martin play, the game is going down to the wire.
The last two games, a win for each team on their home court, were decided by a total of five points.
However, Eastern Illinois opened Monday’s game with a 12-3 run and led by 10 points at the half, 33-23.
“We should have been down by 20 points in the first half,” McMillan said.
The Skyhawks outscored the Panthers 19-7 and took a two-point lead, 42-40 with 13:47 to play, when sophomore Heather Butler made a 3-pointer.
“We were able to come out and make some shots and get some stops and get back in the game, McMillan said.
The game was tied at 45, 52, 58 and 60. EIU’s Ta’Kenya Nixon made a jumper with 2:39 and the Panthers took a 62-60 lead and never looked back.
Nixon led EIU with 21 points, while Sydney Mitchell scored 16 points and Jordyne Crunk added 15 points.
Mariah King, who scored 30 points this past Saturday against Southeast Missouri State, did not score in the game.
Butler led all scorers with 22 points, while Jasmine Newsome scored all 12 of her points in the second half.
Sophomore Aubrey Reedy had nine points, all in the first half.
“If it were not for Reedy in the first half, we would have been in trouble,” McMillan said.
The Skyhawks fall to 9-8 on the year and 3-1 in the OVC, while the Panthers improved to 13-4 and 4-0 in the league.
The Skyhawks return to action Saturday when they play at Eastern Kentucky in Richmond. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.
UT Martin then travels to Morehead State on Monday. Published in The WCP 1.17.12