The Eastern Michigan’s women’s basketball team (6-4) traveled a short distance to Ann Arbor to take on Washtenaw county rivals— the University of Michigan Wolverines Monday afternoon.
After the exciting upset for the men’s team last week, fans and players alike looked to repeat the success at the Crisler Center. Unfortunately, Eastern fell 81 to 52 to the Wolverines, in a loss described by Eagles fans as “difficult to watch.”
This will be Michigan’s third consecutive win in the series between the Eagles and the Wolverines, which now stands at 17-9.
The Wolverines (8-3) came out strong from the very start, going on a 6-0 lead to start the game. The score went unanswered until 16:45, when a layup from Eastern Eagle Jamaica Bucknor got the Eagles on the board for the first time. Bucknor went on to lead scoring for the first half, with 7 points.
Eastern could neither match nor shut down the Wolverines offensive intensity, which was driven by senior forward Cyesha Goree. This game marked Goree’s third straight double-double. Katelynn Flaherty led in scoring for the Wolverines with 17 points.
Eastern was unable to hold the lead at any point in the game, and turnovers seemed to be the main cause. 21 of Michigan’s 42 points in the first half alone came from turnovers. The Eagles went into halftime trailing 21 points, with the score being 42-23.
A few short runs and bursts of energy at the beginning of the second half looked promising for the Eagles, but they ultimately could not get around the Wolverines. It seemed every successful play, steal or basket by Eastern was quickly matched by Michigan. The Wolverines continued to pull away, with the largest deficit being Michigan’s 33-point lead at 10:30. The game ended with 29-point deficit, the Eagles falling 81-52 to the Wolverines. “We imploded.” Said coach Tory Verdi.
Janay Morton, who only scored 4 points in the first half added 10 in the second, and was Eastern’s highest scorer with 14 points.
Looking ahead at the rest of the season, Coach Tory Verdi looks for more leadership on his relatively young team. “I think the things that we can take away from this is that we gotta be more disciplined, we gotta grow up, when we face adversity, we gotta come together.” Verdi said.
Eastern's next action comes against the Detroit Titans Tuesday, where the Eagles will look to defend their spotless record at home this season.