Forward Alex Jones fights for a bucket in the paint against Morehead. (Sonya Johnson)

By Chris McGee

The Lady Colonels basketball team (12-12  7-6 OVC) found their way back to the win column last Saturday afternoon, defeating in-state rival Morehead State (8-16  5-7 OVC), 78-68.

The game was a tale of two halves for Eastern.

In the first half, the team wasn’t getting the stops they wanted, and Morehead was getting a lot of uncontested threes. In addition, Morehead went on a 6-0 run toward the end of the first period.

Coach Chrissy Robert’s message to the team during halftime was two-fold: tenacity and scoring runs.

“They had their run at the end of the first half, now we’ve got to get back in the game and make a run of our own,” Roberts said. “We have to stick together and work as a team.”

Guard Raechele Gray said communication was one of the major halftime adjustments the team made.

“We communicated with each other more on the switches with the screens during the second half,” Gray said.

The team also slowed down the tempo during the second half.

“Execution is something coach (Roberts) has been talking about all week,” Gray said.” Whenever we have dry spells, we just have to slow down, relax and execute our game plan.”

The adjustments definitely paid dividends for the Colonels. Their FG percentage went from 46.7 in  the first half to 51.6 in the second. In addition, the team’s 3 point percentage also improved from 16.7 to 66.7.

Coach Roberts also said defense was a huge component of the team’s second half turnaround.

“We gave up 39 points in the first half and then held them to just 29 in the second; that is huge,” Roberts said.

Eastern shot 30-61 or 49 percent from the field and 3-9 or 33 percent from long distance. The Lady Colonels also made nearly all of their free throws, shooting 84 percent. In addition, the Colonels scored 21 points off of 10 Eagle turnovers.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Colonels and gave them a much-needed momentum boost going into the last two weeks of the season.

“We definitely needed this win especially as we prepare for Tennessee Tech next Saturday,” guard for the Colonels Brittany Coles said.

Coach Roberts said she was pleased with the team’s play.

“We executed well from start to finish,” Roberts said.

The team plays its last road game of the season Saturday against Tennessee Tech. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.