The Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team dropped their first game at the Convocation Center this season with a 68-44 non-conference loss to Green Bay on Monday.
The Eagles had three players in double digits, two of which had near double-doubles. Leading the way was junior forward Paige Redditt with 12 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Cassie Schrock followed right behind, turning in 11 points, eight rebounds and five assists while senior guard Sydney Huntley-Rodgers added ten points.
The Green Bay Phoenix struck first with a pair of free-throws by Celest Hoewisch, but Redditt responded with an inside jumper to tie the score. Green Bay then went on a 13-1 run to give them a 15-3 advantage over the Eagles.
With the Eagles’ leading scorer, Tavelyn James, unable to get into her zone due to a sprained wrist, they suffered offensively in the first half. EMU started in the slumps, shooting for a mere 14.7 percent; being out-scored 20-8 in the paint, 6-3 on second chance points, 8-1 from the bench and 8-0 on fast break points. The Phoenix also forced ten Eagle turnovers in the opening half.
“We totally got outplayed in the first half,” Schrock said. “We have to come out strong.”
Eastern would score just five more points before the 0:22 mark when a three pointer by James gave the Eagles some momentum to build on going into the locker room down 40-14.
Had they came away with the victory it would have been the first time the Eagles defeated a nationally ranked team.
“We didn’t come out ready to make history,” coach AnnMarie Gilbert said. “Effort is like your American Express card and you have to bring it to every game.”
The Phoenix were led by Julie Wojta with 20 points and nine rebounds. Adrian Ritchie followed with 13 points and Kayla Tetschlag was the only player to record a double-double as she put up 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
The Eagles came out to start the second half with a jumper by James for two points and held Green Bay to just three points in the first five minutes of the half. With 13:31 left to play in the game, Huntley-Rodgers and Schrock together knocked down three consecutive three-pointers.
“It gave us some energy,” Redditt said. “It was something for us to build on.”
From that point on the Eagles defense continued to hold the Phoenix off, out-rebounding them 49-47 and forcing ten Phoenix turnovers. Freshman forward Olivia Fouty accounted for eleven off the team’s rebounds for a team-high.
“It brings so much energy,” Schrock said. “And it does something special for us.”
Eastern outscored Green Bay 30-28 in the second half, however free throws kept the Phoenix alive. The Eagles cut the lead as low as 16, and suffered a 68-44 defeat. With the loss the Eagles drop to 5-4, while Green Bay remains undefeated, 8-0, this season.
“We look forward to getting back on track and being more focused,” Huntley-Rodgers said.
To read a profile of Eastern forward Page Redditt, see Third-year student becomes leader, role model for team