With high tempo offense and suffocating defense, the Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team earned a non-conference road victory on Dec. 4 by defeating Loyola University 82-64, improving to 5-0 on the season for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
Scoring at a high rate, EMU had a 39.3 shooting percentage including a 47.2 field goal percentage in the second half with five players scoring in double digits.
Desyree Thomas led the way for Eastern on both ends of the floor by getting her first double-double of the season as she had 15 points and 11 assists.
“Coach Verdi taught us to play at a sped up level, it eventually became easy to us,” Thomas said during her interview on WEMU 89.1.
EMU’s Olivia Fouty also had a double-double which marks her 11th in her career by putting up 12 points and grabbing 14 rebounds,
Cha Sweeney scored a team-high 17 and Janay Morton also contributed 15 with Phillis Webb adding 12 for Eastern.
Even with a victory on Loyola’s home floor, Katie Faught got the offense going for the Ramblers as she went 6-of-11 shooting beyond the arc putting up a team high 18 points, while Troy Hambric helped her team as well by putting up 17 points and grabbing nine rebounds.
EMU’s offense came out strong against Loyola as they got out to a 14-point lead. Haley Moore, Morton and Sweeney were responsible for three-straight 3-pointers for Eastern to put them up 15-5. EMU would score the next four points before Loyola started to change the pace of the game.
Loyola got going as Faught checked into the game and drained back-to-back shots from beyond the arc to bring the Ramblers within 10 of Eastern. The scoring continued to go back-and-forth as EMU kept a nine-point lead before Faught dropped in back-to-back threes for the second time to bring Loyola within eight.
After being tied 38-38 after the half, EMU gained momentum by going on a 15-4 run in the first five minutes of play in the second half, scoring six points off of Loyola’s mistakes by executing full-court pressured defense to take the 55-42 lead.
The Ramblers would come out of the first media timeout to go on a 7-0 run bringing them within eight, but EMU did not allow Loyola to come back into the game as the Eagles went on a 13-0 run with Thomas scoring seven straight.
Eastern forced Loyola to call a timeout as a fast-break layup from Thomas to EMU’s Natachia Watkins gave the Eagles a 72-52 lead with six minutes left in the game.
EMU continued to build on the lead by putting ten more points with Watkins scoring six of the Eagles’ final eight points to help Eastern to an 18 point victory.
Eastern’s 82-point effort marks the fifth straight game this season the Eagles have notched over 80 as they currently average 93 points per game.