The Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team kicked off their 2012-13 campaign Nov. 11 with a come from behind victory over Northeastern University Huskies by a score of 50-47 at the Convocation Center.
Northeastern outscored the Eagles in the first half 27 to 17 due in large part to EMU junior Olivia Fouty picking up two fouls in less than five minutes during the first half.
The Huskies capitalized on Fouty sitting on EMU’s bench for the majority of the first half.
EMU emerged from the locker room for the second half determined to put their first half troubles behind them, but Northeastern had other plans as they increased their lead to 43-26 with 12:20 left in the game.
However, EMU did not back down and returned with a run that was sparked by redshirt senior Miranda Tate.
Led by Tate’s three-point shooting, the Eagles put a dent into the Huskies’ lead cutting it to two, 47-45 with 3:40 left.
On the inbounds pass, junior Desyree Thomas found senior India Hairston on the block to tie the game at 47, late in the second half.
The Eagles took the lead 48-47, their first since the 13:26 mark in the first half, courtesy of Fouty splitting her two free throw attempts.
With the Eagles up by one point, Northeastern ramped up the pressure by forcing head coach Tory Verdi to call back-to-back timeouts to get the ball inbounded.
Thomas was fouled and sank two critical free throws giving the Eagles a three-point lead with 14 seconds left in regulation.
Northeastern had one last shot to force overtime but Christine Huber’s three-point attempt hit off the side of the backboard giving the Eagles a come from behind victory.
“When you face adversity, you have to stick together, and we fought to the end,” Verdi said. “That’s what I love about this team.”
Verdi picked up his first win as the EMU women’s basketball head coach with what he hopes to be many more to come.
EMU (1-0) put together an impressive performance defensively by forcing the Huskies to under 50 points.
The Eagles are now 95-0 all-time when holding opponents to 50 points or less in a game.
Tate shot 8 for 23 from the field, and scored 23 points, most coming from the six three-pointers that she made.
“Tate’s one of the elite weapons in the MAC conference,” Verdi said. “I think she is undiscovered at this point, but I have a feeling that people are going to know she is this season.”
Both teams struggled to find their flow offensively as EMU shot 17 of 57 and Northeastern shot 15 of 55 from the field.
EMU’s next game is Nov. 15 at the Convocation Center, where they will host the Michigan State Spartans of the Big Ten Conference. The Spartans and the Eagles made last season’s NCAA Tournament before both bowing in the first round to Louisville and South Carolina, respectively.
Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. Admission is free for all EMU students.