Eagles Cinderella run ends in championship game

 

After winning four games in five days, the Cinderella run for the Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team ended the season with a 60-44 loss to Ohio University Saturday who took the MAC Tournament Championship.

“Obviously really disappointed with the outcome," said Easter Michigan coach TOry Verdi. "Hate it for the kids, hate it for our players. We got to give Ohio credit. I thought the second half they did a really nice job defensively. I thought that our lack of offensive production hurt us. For whatever reason, we just couldn’t get it going tonight. And then obviously it kind of snowballed from there. Regardless of the outcome of the game today, so proud of our players and everything that they’d accomplished the last month and a half. It’s been quite the ride; a rollercoaster full of emotions. And I’m just thankful that I get the opportunity to be their coach.”

Cha Sweeney made a record seven field goals and score 24 points during the game. She has made 39 field goals in the last five games which was enough to put her in the MAC Tournament record book. For this reason and all her effort during the tournament, she was named to the Mid-American Conference All-Tournament Team.

Sweeney was the only EMU player to shoot in the double-digits. The team didn’t perform as well during their last game as they had in the previous postseason games—they only shot 25.4 percent.

Brianna Puni scored seven points and Janay Morton and Phillis Webb put up four points each.

The Eagles did well defensively. They had 16 turnovers resulting in 11 points. They also had nine steals with Morton making five of those plays.

While EMU did struggle on the offense to begin the game, the team never trailed by more than three points for the first 12 minutes of the game.

In the last three minutes of the first half, Eastern was able to take a 23-17 lead thanks to a 9-0 run and five points from Sweeney.

Sweeney knocked down a jump-shot outside the key in the last 29 seconds of the half to secure a 27-25 lead going into the second half.

The Bobcats started the second half strong with a 13-4 run to take a 38-31 lead. Verdi called a time out to slow OU down, but Ohio University extended the lead to 47-38 following the timeout.

The Eagles couldn’t rally to take the lead, and Ohio led the game by at least six points going into the last three minutes of the game.

With just over two minutes left, Yamonie Jenkins knocked down OU’s 14th three pointer and the Eagles were unable to make a comeback.

Even though the Eagles were unable to win the Mid-American Conference Championship they were still the first six seed in MAC tournament history to make the championship game.

Next for the Eagles is to hear what their postseason fate is. They will know when WNIT brackets are announced Monday.


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