Redhawks Ambushed by Panthers, 70-61
Jan. 5, 2006
CHARLESTON, Ill. - (Thursday, January 5, 2006) Heading into their match-up with Eastern Illinois on Thursday most people would give the Redhawks women's basketball team the win despite the Redhawks year-long struggles. Based on history alone that would seem to give the Redhawks the advantage, they hadn't lost to the Panthers since 2001 and hadn't lost to the Panthers in Lantz Arena (the Panthers homecourt) since 1998.
That is why the game is played on the court and not on paper and history is left in the past for a reason. The Redhawks came out sluggish in the first half and the upstart Panthers shocked the Redhawks, 70-61 in Ohio Valley Conference action at Lantz Arena Thursday evening. The loss snapped the Redhawks two-game OVC winning streak.
The Redhawks (6-7, 3-3 OVC) trailed the whole first half as they shot a 33-percent from the field and 28-percent from the free throw line. The Panthers (5-7, 4-1) used a pressure defense that both frustrated and tired the Redhawks offense and surpassed their OVC win total from all of last season with their fourth conference win.
After Tiffanne Ryan (Oklahoma City, OK/Westmoore) tied the game at six apiece on a layup at the 15:58 mark, the Panther used a 10-2 run to put distance between the two running teams and kept that comfortable eight point lead the rest of the half as both teams headed to the lockeroom with the score 32-24.
The 24 first half points were the Redhawks lowest output of the season in a half for the league's top-scoring team.
In the second half the Panthers grabbed their largest lead of the game as Rachel Galligan hit a jumper at the start of the half for a 10-point, 34-24 lead.
The Redhawks cut the lead to five, 35-30 on a Simone Jackson (Kingston, Jamaica/Southeastern Illinois CC) jumper but Megan Edwards answered with a three-pointer to put the Panthers back up by eight, 38-30.
The Redhawks then answered with a 10-2 run to grab their first lead of the game 41-40 highlighted by Jackson's first three-pointer of the season and only the second of her career.
The team's traded baskets until a Galligan jumper sparked a 13-4 Panther run that gave them a 62-53 edge with less than three minutes to play.
The Redhawks could no closer than seven points as they dropped their second-straight road contest and fall to 1-5 overall away from the Show Me Center.
The Redhawks finished shooting 37-percent from the field and a dismal 18-percent from three-point range.
Tatiana Conceicao (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Western Nebraska CC) led the Redhawks with 15 points and pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds for her second-straight double-double and her third of the season.
Jackson showed signs of breaking out of a shooting slump as she scored 14 points to round out the Redhawk double-digit scorers. She also recorded eight rebounds.
Ryan finished with nine points with seven of those in the opening half.
Lachelle Lyles (Chicago, IL/Shelton State CC) finished with six points and five rebounds.
Panthers, who started three freshman and sport a young team determined to rewrite the Panthers record books, were led by a pair of freshman in double-figures led by Edwards' 16 points on 6-10 shooting (2-3 from three-point range).
Center Rachel Galligan had a huge game with 13 points and a career-high 12 rebounds and seemed to alter every Redhawk shot as she recorded a career-high five blocked shots.
Leading scorer Megan Sparks was held in check with six points, 10 below her average.
The Redhawks next travel to Murray, Kentucky to face rival Murray State on Saturday, January 7 at 5:15 p.m. before returning home to take on Austin Peay on January 14.