Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Eastern Echo Thursday, May 30, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

Womens Basketball Eastern Michigan vs Toledo

Central Michigan women's hoops claims intrastate rival victory with 64-60 win over Eagles

Austin emerges as the top scorer for Eagles with 14 points

The 94th encounter between in-state rivals Eastern Michigan University and Central Michigan took place on Saturday, Jan. 13. CMU maintains dominance in the all-time series with 55 victories to EMU's 39.

Despite limiting the Chippewas to a mere 20% accuracy in a 2-for-10 shooting display from beyond the arc, the Eagles' women's basketball team faced a 64-60 defeat at the George Gervin GameAbove Center. 

The Eagles (4-10, 1-3) witnessed three players achieving double-digit scores. Junior guard Lachelle Austin (Redford, Mich.) led the charge with 14 points, followed by junior center Tayra Eke (Madrid, Spain) who contributed 13 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks. Freshman guard Cali Denson (Milwaukie, Ore.) also made her presence felt with 11 points.

Trailing 11-3 initially, EMU initiated a comeback, embarking on a 6-0 run with 5:17 remaining in the first quarter. Sophomore guard Olivia Smith (Fort Wayne, Ind.) sealed the surge with a three-pointer, reducing the deficit to 11-9. However, CMU responded, extending their lead, and the Eagles found themselves behind 21-18 as they entered the second quarter.

The second quarter proved challenging for the Eagles as they further slipped, heading into halftime with a 35-25 deficit.

Senior center Kennedi Myles (Cincinnati, Ohio) spearheaded EMU's strong effort on the offensive glass, securing three crucial offensive rebounds. The team collectively grabbed a total of 12 offensive boards, translating to an impressive 15 points from second-chance opportunities.

Following halftime, EMU reduced its deficit to 41-35 and embarked on a 7-0 run. Denson's three-pointer capped the surge, propelling them to a 42-41 lead with 3:34 remaining in the third quarter. Maintaining this lead throughout the frame, the Eagles entered the fourth quarter with a slim 46-45 advantage. Notably, they netted nine of their 21 total points in the third quarter from three-pointers.

However, CMU staged a comeback in the final quarter, erasing EMU's lead and securing a 64-60 victory. The Eagles capitalized on opportunities in the post, with eight of their 14 fourth-quarter points coming from inside the paint.

In Saturday's matchup, the Eagles created pressure, causing 20 Chippewa turnovers, although committing 16 turnovers themselves. Capitalizing on these takeaways, the Eagles converted them into 15 points on the offensive end. Junior forward ZaNiya Nelson (Oklahoma City, Okla.) played a pivotal role, leading the team individually with four steals.

EMU emerged victorious in the blocking duel against the Chippewas, securing a 4-2 advantage. This marks the fifth instance this season where the Eagles have outperformed their opponents in blocking. In the previous season, the team achieved more blocks than their adversaries in 19 different contests.

Next up, the Eagles are set to continue conference play on home turf, preparing to host Miami University inside the George Gervin GameAbove Center on Wednesday, Jan. 17, with the game scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.