EIU Women Eliminated from OVC Tourney


Published on March 9 2013 12:00 pm
Last Updated on March 9 2013 12:00 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Panther women’s basketball team was eliminated from the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament by UT Martin, 71-69, on Friday afternoon at Municipal Auditorium. EIU falls to 19-11 on the year.

UT Martin’s Heather Butler hit a jump shot in the lane with four seconds left in regulation to put the Skyhawks up by two points. Ta’Kenya Nixon missed a contested layup on the ensuing full-court play, ending the Panthers season in the semifinal round of the tournament for the second consecutive season.

Trailing 41-32 with 16:47 left in the game, EIU used a 14-2 run on 7-for-10 shooting to take a 48-43 advantage with just under 13 minutes on the clock. The duration of the contest saw five lead changes and three ties with the Panthers taking their largest lead of the game, 64-58, with 4:10 remaining in regulation.

Mariah King led the Panthers with her 10th career double-double, scoring a team-high 20 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Senior Ta’Kenya Nixon added 17 points and seven assists while classmates Sydney Mitchell and Kelsey Wyss both chipped in 14 points.

EIU posted 10 more rebounds (43-33) than UT Martin, led by Sabina Oroszova who had a game-high 12 rebounds. Defensively, the Panthers also added seven blocks – led by Nixon’s team-high four blocks.

The Panthers finished the day hitting 45.3 percent of their shots (29-for-64), including a .528 field-goal percentage in the second half (19-for-36). UT Martin went 26-for-61 from the floor and 9-for-21 from behind the arc in the contest.

Butler led the Skyhawks with a game-high 24 points and eight assists. Jasmine Newsome added 23 points and 10 rebounds while Rickiesha Bryant also added a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Panthers will participate in the WNIT for the second consecutive season with first round action beginning on March 20-22. The tournament field will be announced on March 18.