Women’s basketball suffered a loss from Eastern Michigan University on Sunday. The team nearly pulled ahead in the final quarter, but was unable to keep up the momentum.
The first quarter of the game opened with Eastern Michigan displaying their strength and the Cougars faltering slightly, ending it with a score of 6-12.
Early in the second quarter, a strong defense knocked the ball out of Eastern Michigan’s hands. However, they were still able to score 3 points on the rebound.
After a short timeout, the game continued with a very strong defense from junior guard Niya Danfort that sent Eastern Michigan back down the court.
The situation was dire around the 7-minute mark in the second quarter, where the Cougars were forced to wait out the shot timer and the score was 6-24.
However, SIUE was not discouraged by this, and senior forward Ajulu Thatha pushed through the Eastern Michigan defenses and scored a basket. At 6:03, Eastern Michigan got two shots at the foul line, but after the second, Danfort grabbed the ball and pushed back down court for another two points.
Possibly sensing that SIUE was trying to turn the game around, Eastern Michigan called a timeout at 5:59. Afterwards, Eastern Michigan attempted to go back down court to the basket, but was slowed by a strong defense from junior forward Olivia Clayton, forward Azaria Moore and guard Macy Silvey. Moore and Silvey are freshmen, but all three players are new to the team.
Thanks to baskets from senior guard Mikayla Kinnard and Silvey, the score was brought to 14-31 at 4:40 as the Cougars began to fight back.
From 3:01 to 2:50, Eastern Michigan and SIUE both got chances at the foul line. Eastern Michigan did not score any points, but senior guard K.K. Rodriguez did, giving SIUE two more points.
Showing off her skills as a senior on the team, Thatha scored a basket, and although SIUE missed a pass that opened up Eastern Michigan for an easy basket, Thatha knocked the ball out of the air.
The first half of the game was over, with the score at 18-37.
The third quarter opened with Danfort scoring SIUE one point at the foul line, and a strong defense from Thatha that led to the same exact situation for Eastern Michigan.
From 9 minutes to 8 minutes, SIUE gained some momentum, with sophomore forward Tyler Butler scoring two points at the foul line, which was followed by a 3 from sophomore guard Sofie Lewis. Right after this, when Eastern Michigan gained possession, they were fouled for traveling.
The game began to take a turn at this point. A timeout was called at 6:24 when players from both teams fell over each other. This was followed by a similar tussle shortly after, but Kinnard released the tension by scoring a basket.
As the third quarter wrapped up, junior forward Madison Webb scored a basket, Silvey kept the energy up with a 3 and Danfort got the team another two at the foul line. Finally, just before the last minute of the quarter, freshman forward Destine Duckworth scored a 3 and Kinnard scored another basket. The score was 38-53 and there was one quarter left.
Eastern Michigan’s lead had decreased between the second and third quarters, and SIUE was prepared to keep shrinking it. Duckworth opened the fourth quarter with a replay from moments before with another 3. However, due to a strong defense from Eastern Michigan, the basket was put under review by the referees.
The basket was fine, and Duckworth was given two shots at the foul line which she made, bringing it to 45-53.
Despite a few chances for Eastern Michigan at the foul line, the lead kept shrinking, and with two more points at the foul line from Kinnard at 7:22, the score was now 47-54.
With five minutes left, the disheartened audience regained excitement. Rodriguez smoothly weaved through the Eastern Michigan defenses for a basket, and Danfort got another point at the foul line. Danfort got four more points after this from Eastern Michigan fouls, leading the score at 54-65.
The score remained unchanged for a full minute on the clock, until one of Eastern Michigan’s players was taken off of the court due to an injury, which gave them a chance at the foul line.
SIUE followed the point up with a basket, and a timeout. There were 58 seconds left on the clock, and the score was 58-70.
After the game continued, SIUE called another timeout at 31 seconds. But, this time, when the game returned, the team scored a basket. At 26 seconds another SIUE timeout was called, and it was followed by a second basket.
After the second basket, however, Eastern Michigan gained possession of the ball, and waited out the timer, ending the game with a score of 62-70.
The women’s basketball team will be away for a game against Purdue University in Indiana, but will be back on campus for a game at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19 against the University of Memphis.
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