The Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team won their exhibition game with a 77-57 victory over Wayne State University Nov. 6. Leading the way for the Eagles was redshirt senior forward Miranda Tate with 23 points and five rebounds. Junior guard Natachia Watkins wasn’t far behind, adding 10 points and seven rebounds of her own.
The first four minutes of the game saw a back and forth between the Eagles and the WSU Warriors, but a three-pointer from Tate at the 15:36 mark of the first half started a 14-5 run for the Eagles. The run turned out to give the team great momentum as they led the rest of the way.
The Eagles did well from beyond the arc against the Warriors. As a team, Eastern was 7-15 from long distance (46.7 percent) as opposed to Wayne State making only one of the team’s 16 attempts- a Brittany Streetman shot with 7:34 to go in the first half.
From close range, both teams shot fairly respectably. The Eagles as a team shot 23-64 from the field (35.9 percent field goal percentage) while Wayne State was 21-68 inside the line (30.9 percent). The biggest difference came from the free throw line. Eastern was 24-34 from the line, but Wayne State was only 14-30. The Eagles missed only one of their 14 free throws in the first half.
Watkins led the way for the Eagles in time on the court, spending 31 minutes on the floor. Junior forward Olivia Fouty was second with 27 minutes played. She scored six points and had six rebounds. Wayne State had two players who both played 24 minutes.
Other notable players for the Eagles included senior center India Hairston and junior guard Desyree Thomas. Hairston scored seven points and pulled down seven rebounds in 19 minutes. Thomas scored eight points and had four rebounds in 18 minutes.
The Eagles have not lost an exhibition game since their 63-68 defeat at the hands of the Ohio Legends on Halloween night 2007. The loss, interestingly enough, was the first game coached by former head coach AnnMarie Gilbert, who was replaced at the end of last season by Tory Verdi.
The Eagles begin the regular season with the hopes of defending their MAC championship Nov. 11 when they take on the Northeastern University Huskies at the Convocation Center. Tip-off is scheduled for noon.