The Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team advanced its record to 14-7 (5-2 Mid-American Conference) with a dominant 85-40 win over the Ohio University Bobcats. Meanwhile, the Bobcats fell to 6-14 (2-5 MAC) on the season.
The Eagles set a Convocation Center record as they made 62.3 percent (38-of-61) of their attempted field goals. The Eagles also knocked went 41.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Ohio shot just 24 percent from the field and hit 10 percent of its three-point field goals. For coach AnnMarie Gilbert it was the hunger of the team that lifted them to such a thunderous win.
“Our kids are hungry now,” Gilbert said. “So they are willing to do more things for us.”
Every player on the Eagles’ roster put points on the board led by Sydney Huntley-Rodgers with 14 points and six steals. Tavelyn James added 12 points, while Cassie Schrock put up six points, seven assists, eight rebounds and four steals. India Hairston also pitched in with nine points on the night.
The Bobcats got off to an early 4-2 lead to open the game before EMU went on to score 14 unanswered points, giving it a 16-4 lead with 13:48 to go in the half. The Eagles used their fast-break offense to advance their lead to 28 points at halftime.
Nine of EMU’s 13 players scored in the first half, as Huntley-Rodgers led all scorers with 10 points. The Eagles shot 71 percent from the field in the opening half, on 22-of-31 shooting, which led them to their third-highest first half effort of the season.
James came out to hit a quick three-pointer in the second half and the Eagles never looked back.
For much of the second half it was the bench and younger players who stepped up and kept EMU atop the Bobcats. Freshman Natacia Watkins led them with eight points and five rebounds. Watkins says the performance by the starters is what motivated them to play well.
“When the starters are active it trickles down,” Watkins said. “We want to keep that lead and we don’t want to let them come back.”
For Huntley-Rodgers it was the confidence of EMU that got its offense going and allowed for the 85-40 victory.
“Our offense was sparked by our confidence after hitting shots out of the gate,” Huntley-Rodgers said.
The Eagles will suit up next to face off with Miami University at 2 p.m. Saturday in Oxford, Ohio.