The Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team picked up its second win in a row Sunday over Ohio University 68-55.
EMU’s star freshman duo Cha Sweeney and Janay Morton led EMU in the win with 19 and 17 points, respectively.
Redshirt junior Olivia Fouty also chipped in with a double-double—14 points and 10 rebounds.
This victory improves EMU to 14-8 overall and 4-7 in the Mid-American Conference.
Head coach Tory Verdi said after the game that the coaching staff did a tremendous job and really helped the players.
“Our kids really focused in, locked in. They followed the game plan to a T,” Verdi said. “They really executed and it was really good to see the effort and communication.
Verdi went on to say that his team knew where to be on the floor and what they were supposed to be doing. Verdi also credited the seniors for their leadership and also praised the collective team defense.
“Defensively, we did a really nice job limiting them to one shot,” Verdi said. “And then we pushed offensively and we did a great job of attacking the basket and we actually put the ball in the basket for once.”
The bench had a disappointing night for the Eagles, scoring only three points, although senior guard Desyree Thomas had seven assists off the bench, but the stars took care of business against Ohio.
“It was really nice to see Cha Sweeney take over offensively,” Verdi said. “Janay hit some big threes and Olivia Fouty hit threes. We were due. We knew it would happen and they made it happen tonight. I’m really really ecstatic and proud of our team tonight.”
Ohio got contributions from Kiyanna Black, who scored a team-high 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting, 3-of-10 from three, and 0-for-1 from the line.
Ohio also got 10 points off the bench from Destini Cooper on 4-of-8 shooting, and 2-of-5 from the line. Cooper did not attempt a three.
Verdi said he was very impressed with the ball movement by his team and how they were swinging the ball side to side.
“It’s about sharing the basketball. The ball wasn’t sticking in one person’s hands,” Verdi said. “Again, I am really proud of our players tonight.”
The game was very nearly a wire-to-wire victory for EMU. Ohio led 2-0 after an early layup by Quiera Lampkins, but after that EMU went on a 13-0 run and never looked back.
The first half had EMU leading by as many as 11 points with the score usually somewhere between five to eight points with the halftime score being 32-23 in favor of EMU.
The second half started with a 6-0 run by Ohio to cut the lead to three, but a pair of three pointers by Morton along with some Sweeney layups and Fouty three pointers left EMU up 10 with 13:47 left.
The lead did get up to 18 points after a three from Fouty and that was their largest lead of the night which they would match two more times in the game.
EMU returns to action on Feb. 15 against Bowling Green University at the Convocation Center.
Verdi said his team will stay ready and this extended period off could be a blessing in disguise.
“We get to heal up a bit,” Verdi said. “We are going to go back and learn a little more and teach a little more. The last couple of days we have really grew. I feel like the last couple of days we have taken that extra step. It comes down to sharing the basketball and playing hard and working together as a team.”