Women’s Basketball Downs EMU

Sophomore Taryn Blankenship fakes and drives the lane for two of her eight points against EMU Wednesday.
Sophomore Taryn Blankenship fakes and drives the lane for two of her eight points against EMU Wednesday.
Staff Photo
Led by senior Trina Lewis’ 17 points, the Lady Panthers defeated Eastern Mennonite 50-40.
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  • Trina Lewis, senior, drains three of her 17 points against EMU.

  • Allyson Cassell, sophomore, posts up low against an EMU defender.

  • Kayla Cabiness, senior, drives the lane for two of her 11 points against EMU.

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The thing about steam locomotives is that they take a while to get really moving, but once they do, they roll right on down the track.

Such was the case with the Lady Panthers basketball team last night–it took a little bit, but once they got their roll, they steamed on through to a 50-40 victory over Eastern Mennonite University.

Led by senior Trina Lewis‘ 17 points, the ladies overcame a 27-22 halftime deficit and used a nine-point, 4th-quarter scoring run to notch the win and post a four-game winning streak.

“Whew!” said Head Coach Bryan Harvey. “She (Lewis) plays so hard. She leaves everything out there.”

It was a bit of a revenge match for the Panthers, who lost to EMU at EMU 66-54 almost a month ago.

“Their guards are small, but they’re quick,” Harvey said. “I’m usually a man-to-man guy, but we couldn’t stay in front of them at their place, and I thought we had a hard time guarding them.”

Since that game, the team has incorporated a bit more zone defense into the scheme.

“(Zone) is not something I do a lot,” Harvey said. “But we gotta do what we gotta do to try and win games.”

EMU hit some early three-pointers, but by the second half, the Panthers had adjusted to the shooters and held the Royals to only one, second-half three.

“(EMU’s Kayla Surles) got some open looks, and she’s a good shooter. One of the best shooters in the league,” Harvey said. “I don’t think we were quick enough getting out on her early in the game. Our kids thought they got out and got a hand up, but against elite shooters you have to do more than that. We say run them off the line. We have to make her dribble to score–not catch and shoot and get in rhythm, and I thought she got some rhythm threes in that first half.”

Harvey said that at halftime, they talked about identifying shooters and being able to get to Surles more quickly.

“We really got out on her in the second half. She didn’t get many good looks,” he said.

Aiding in the defensive effort was Kayla Cabiness, senior, who recorded two steals and three defensive rebounds. Cabiness also totaled 11 points and five assists on the offensive end.

By the end of the third period, the ladies were in front by a point, 34-33. The beginning of the fourth saw the Panthers score nine straight to take the lead into double digits–43-33 with 4:04 left in regulation.

Surles hit her lone, second-half three pointer at the 3:21 mark to cut the Panther lead to seven, but a Lewis layup at the 2:46 mark put the ladies back up by nine, 45-36.

Two Cabiness free throws took Ferrum back into double digits at 48-38 with 1:47 remaining, and a Taryn Blankenship, sophomore, jumper with :18 ticks left on the clock boosted the lead to 12. EMU managed one bucket in the waning seconds, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 10-point deficit.

Blankenship finished the game with eight points, 10 rebounds, and an assist, and Sophomore Allyson Cassell totaled six points with eight rebounds and an assist.

The Panthers shot 60% from the floor in the 4th quarter and 38.5% for the game.

The ladies will be back in action this Saturday for their regular-season finale away at Randolph Macon at 4:30 p.m.




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