Crunk Free Throws Give EIU 81-80 Victory in Women's Basketball

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Published on November 22 2013 5:16 pm
Last Updated on November 22 2013 5:16 pm
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. -- Jordyne Crunk hit a pair of free throws with 0.9 seconds remaining to give Eastern Illinois a 81-80 win over Loyola-Chicago in what was the first win for Panthers head coach Debbie Black.

EIU improved to 1-3. Loyola fell to 1-3.

With the score tied at 78-78 with one minute remaining, Crunk was fouled and converted just one of two free throws. Loyola took the lead with 16 seconds left to play as Troy Hambric hit a jumper in the lane. Crunk was then fouled driving to the basket in the final seconds. The senior guard hit both shots to finish off her 20 point night.

EIU shot 50 percent from the field including 56.5 percent in the second half. The Panthers made 4-of-5 3-pointers in the second half after leading 37-36 at the half.

Loyola jumped out a nine point lead midway through the opening half behind the play of Taylor Johnson who scored 15 of her 21 points in the opening half. Johnson’s jumper at 9:32 put the Ramblers up 25-16. After a lay-up by Crunk, Johnson again put Loyola up nine with a lay-up from the left side.

The Panthers slowly chipped away at the margin as Sabina Oroszova went to the free throw line four times in the final 2:20 of the half. Oroszova put EIU up four points with 52 seconds left in the half. The junior forward posted her third straight double-double with 26 points and 12 rebounds.

In the second half the two teams traded the lead 14 times with the biggest lead six by EIU with 2:39 left to play after Crunk made a lay-up. Tiana Karopulos made four free throws in a 52 second span which tied the game at 78-78. Karopulos finished with 13 points for Loyola while Hambric added 12.

EIU had four double figure scorers in the game as Morgan Palombizio matched her career high with 11 points and Katlyn Payne added 12. EIU was 7-of-10 from 3-point range with Payne, Palombizio and Oroszova all making a pair of shots beyond the arc.

EIU had a season high 16 assists. Crunk had six with freshman guard Georgia Danos and Palombizio each chipping in with three.

The Panthers return to action on Monday at 12 p.m. in the annual Kid’s Day game against Western Illinois.