The Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team (15-14, 7-11 MAC) were on the road in Athens, Ohio, to take on the Bobcats of Ohio University (6-23, 4-14 MAC) in a must-win game for the Eagles to earn a berth in the Mid-American Conference tournament.
The Eagles answered the challenge and took the win, 74-64. With the win, the Eagles are headed to Cleveland, Ohio, as they officially earn a spot as the seventh seed in the 2023 MAC tournament held on March 8-11 at RocketMortage Fieldhouse.
Three Eagles scored double-digits as sophomore guard Lachelle Austin led the Eagles offensively, finishing with 25 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Junior Ce’Nara Skanes notched her 31st career triple-double as she scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while sophomore Tayra Eke was dominating both ends of the floor as she scored 12 points, eight rebounds, three steals, and two blocks.
EMU attacked the glass offensively as they pulled down 14 offensive rebounds and turned them into 11 second chance points. On the other end of the floor, the Eagles defense showed up as they forced 15 turnovers, turning those into 16 points on the offensive end.
In the first quarter, a back-and-forth battle to start the game found the Eagles trailing Ohio, 16-15, right before EMU would go on an 8-0 run with Skanes burying a three-pointer to go up, 23-16, to end the first quarter.
The second quarter was almost identical to the first as Ohio fought their way back and tied the game at 32-32, before the Eagles generated another 8-0 run highlighted by an Austin bucket to regain the lead, 40-32.
The Eagles picked right back up where they left off at entering the third quarter as they held onto their lead before a 7-0 run highlighted by Austin again would expand the lead, 55-42, with 3:44 left in the quarter. Ohio would attempt to cut into that lead, but EMU still entered the fourth quarter with a 60-48 advantage as they outscored the Bobcats in the quarter, 20-16.
Ohio would then outscore EMU by a difference of two points, 16-14, in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough as the Eagles held on for the win, 74-64.
The Eagles dominated the Bobcats in the paint, as they finished the game with 40 of their 74 total points near the basket. For comparison, the Bobcats only scored 20 total points in the paint.
Now that the regular season has come to an end, the Eagles will now set their focus to the 2023 MAC tournament. EMU will faceoff against the No. 2 seeded Bowling Green Cardinals on Wednesday, March 8 inside RocketMortage Fieldhouse. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m., and it will be streamed on ESPN+.
For more information on the Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team, you can listen to “TheBlockE Podcast” weekly for more in-depth analyses, statistics, and more.
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