BY: TYLER PHILLIPS
The Lady Colonels (13-8, 7-3 OVC) finished another road weekend on a low note after falling to the University of Tennessee at Martin Skyhawks 60-75 on Feb. 4.
The Lady Colonels led most of the first half, but a run in the final four minutes pushed the Skyhawks (11-13, 6-4 OVC) ahead by seven at the half.
Eastern never got closer than three the rest of the way and ended up falling to the preseason OVC favorite.
Junior Guard Marie Carpenter led the Lady Colonels again in scoring with 17 off of five 3-pointers, and Senior Alex Jones contributed 15 points and 16 rebounds. Eastern was forced into 23 turnovers against the Skyhawks, which was a big reason for the loss.
“Those turnovers came from us being impatient,” senior Raechele Gray said. “We needed to shoot out of it. I know you don’t make them all, but sometimes that’s the best option.”
The Lady Colonels struggled offensively, shooting 30 percent during the first half. Gray said she thinks that is one of the reasons for the loss.
“We were a little stagnant offensively,” Gray said. “We need to relax and play our game.”
Tennessee-Martin also holds the top two scorers in the OVC. Jasmine Newsome and Heather Butler are one and two, respectively, in the OVC in scoring.
Eastern entered the game as the top defense in the OVC and held the Skyhawks, the best shooing team in the OVC, to just 22 of 58 from the field.
“We try to defend the team according to personnel,” Carpenter said. “We know the players that try to penetrate, the shooters, it all.”
Gray also said she considered the Lady Colonel’s defense to be important.
“Defense wins championships,” Gray said. “We pride ourselves in defense. Our ‘d’ is what helps us on the offensive end as well.”
Eastern is currently ranked third in the OVC. The Lady Colonels will attempt to keep this rank on the road against Morehead State Feb. 9 and face in-state rival Lady Eagles.