The Eastern Michigan women’s basketball team started its regular season with a 127-40 blowout win over Kent State University-Tuscarawas Friday at the Convocation Center.
Eastern’s 127 points is the most scored since Nov. 30, 2013 when the Eagles scored 120 against Marygrove College.
The 87-point victory is also a team-high (86 points vs. Temple Baptist University on Nov. 11, 2007).
Sasha Dailey led the way for the Eagles (1-0) with 31 points on 15-of-20 shooting in 27 minutes. The game was the first regular season matchup for the freshman.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” EMU coach Tory Verdi said. “We knew Sasha Dailey was a special player. The one thing that they [the freshmen] have to understand – and it’s a process – is that they need to be consistent. Whether it’s in practice or the game – each and every single day they have to play at a level in which they are capable of playing.”
Four other Eastern players scored in double digits – Jamaica Bucknor (18 points), KaBria Walker (12), Cha Sweeney and Brittani Stowe (10 each).
“I thought Jamaica was phenomenal for scoring as much as she did in the limited time she played,” Verdi said. “I thought offensively and defensively she was very very good.”
Dailey – who went to high school with Sweeney (25 points in her regular season debut vs. Madonna last year) – spoke briefly about her performance.
“It’s a good feeling,” Dailey said. “I was excited and I played hard.”
Tori Easley led the defense with 10 rebounds while Dailey added nine steals.
Tessa Sanders led the Golden Eagles (1-4) with 12 points on 4-of-20 shooting in 40 minutes. She made 4-of-18 three-point attempts.
Kent State-Tuscarawas sent only five players to compete in the game.
The Eagles got out to a quick 7-0 lead in the first two minutes and did not look back.
Despite the score, Verdi said he thought his team was distracted in the first four minutes of the game.
“I felt that the next 36 minutes were very very focused and we had high energy,” he said. “We did a great job both offensively and defensively.”
The Eagles travel to East Lansing, Mich. Sunday to take on the Michigan State University Spartans.
Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant was Eastern’s coach from 2003-07. She had a 147-91 record with the Eagles.
Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Breslin Center.
Follow Al Willman on Twitter: @AlWillmanEcho