CHARLESTON, Ill. (EKU Sports)– The Eastern Kentucky University women’s basketball team fell on the road to Eastern Illinois, 73-68, Saturday afternoon in Charleston.
Going into the half, the Colonels (6-6, 5-3 OVC) trailed 32-20, but EIU opened the second half on a 15-2 run to take a 47-32 lead after the Kira Arthofer jumper with 5:06 remaining in the quarter.
But the Colonels did not go down without a fight.
Jayla Johnson cut the Panther (6-7, 4-4 OVC) lead to 10, 50-40, with 1:42 remaining in the third, but EKU went into the final quarter trailing, 53-40.
That is when the comeback started.
Kendall Wingler knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key to cut the lead to single digits, 60-52, with 5:46 remaining. After a Lariah Washington layup pushed the lead back to 11, 65-54, with 3:50 remaining, the Colonels scored eight of the next 11 points to cut the Panther lead to six, 68-62.
Alice Recanati got the Colonels the closest they had been since halftime with a layup to make the score 70-68 with 17 seconds left. But the Colonels could not get any closer.
Johnson led the way for the Colonels posting 17 points and five rebounds. Emma Hacker came off the bench with 12 points, four rebounds, two assists, and one block.
Karle Pace led all scorers with 32 points. Abby Wahl just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
The two teams traded points for most of the first half, but EKU took a 16-14 lead after Amerah Steele knocked down a three-pointer with 25 seconds remaining in the quarter.
The Colonels out-rebounds Eastern Illinois 42-34 on the contest.
EKU returns home on Thursday when the Colonels welcome in the Skyhawks of UT Martin. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.