Austin Scores 21, Women’s Hoops Falls at Bowling Green

Press Conference

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio ( — Lachelle Austin

(Redford, Mich.-Wayne Memorial) scored 21 points, but it was not enough to lead the Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team to a win, as EMU fell, 79-63, to Bowling Green State University today, Dec. 7, inside the Stroh Center.

The Eagles (9-4, 1-1 MAC) had three players score in double figures, led by Austin, who had a career-high 21 points and two steals. Freshman Olivia Smith (Fort Wayne, Ind. – South Side) tacked on 15 points, four assists and two steals while ZaNiya Nelson (Oklahoma City, Okla.-Putnam City West) chipped in as well with 11 points and eight rebounds from the bench. Despite the efforts, Eastern dropped its first Mid-American Conference contest of the season, while Bowling Green (12-2, 1-1 MAC) evened its conference ledger.

Eastern Michigan shared the ball well in Saturday’s game, racking up 16 assists on 21 made field goals. Tyra Eke’s (Madrid, Spain-IES Ortega Y Gasset-LIU) four assists paced the Eagles.

The Green and White did a great job disrupting Bowling Green shots in the contest, coming away with seven blocks. Both Ce’Nara Skanes’ (Oklahoma City, Okla.-Putnam City West) and Eke’s three rejections led the way for the Eagles.

How It Happened
EMU struggled out of the gate, falling behind 20-9 at the end of the first quarter.

Bowling Green kept adding to that lead, building a 38-25 advantage before Eastern Michigan went on a 7-0 run to narrow its deficit to 38-32. Bowling Green responded and expanded its lead, leaving the Eagles trailing 41-32 heading into halftime.

Eastern’s deficit continued to grow after halftime, and the Eagles faced a 68-42 disadvantage heading to the fourth quarter. Eastern Michigan scored two fast break points in the quarter.

Bowling Green kept widening its lead in the fourth, building a 75-48 advantage before the Eagles went on a 12-0 run to shrink the deficit to 75-60 with 1:32 to go in the contest. The Falcons responded and outscored the Eagles the rest of the way, ending the game with a final score of 79-63. Eastern Michigan fired away from deep in the quarter, knocking down three shots to account for nine of its 21 points.

Game Notes
» Smith continues to impress as she knocked down three triples in the game. The rookie has at least one three-pointer in all but one contest this season. Additionally, with her three buckets from the three, the freshman guard has recorded three or more triples in five of her 13 collegiate contests (42%). She is one of two “true” freshman within the Mid-American Conference to have five or more games with three or more made three-point baskets. The only other rookie in the league to accomplish this feat is Central Michigan University’s Sydney Harris, who has produced seven games with three-plus triples. Moreover, Smith is one of only five freshmen across the league to have three-plus triples in a single game.
» The Eagles shot well from three-point range, knocking down 8-of-20 long range attempts. The eight makes ties for the team’s season-high in triples, doing so on three other occasions (vs. North Dakota State, Dec. 1, vs. North Dakota, Dec. 4, and vs. Hillsdale, Dec. 28).
» The Eagles put on a passing clinic, recording an assist on 76 percent of made baskets. The 16 total helpers in the contest were one shy of the team’s high of 17, set against Wright State University, Dec. 21. Before the 17 against WSU, the last time the Eagles recorded 16 assists in a game was in the road win at SIU-Edwardsville, Nov. 13.
» The Eagles were active in affecting shots on the defensive end, recording seven blocks as a team. The Green and White have led the MAC in blocks per game throughout the entirety of the season. Tallying 74 total blocks in the 13 games played so far, the Eagles are 11th in the nation for blocks per game (5.7). Moreover, with their seven rejections against the Falcons, the Eagles have recorded five or more blocks in all but three games this season.
» Eastern Michigan tallied six steals in the game with the Falcons. It was the team’s 10th contest with five or more robberies. Additionally, Austin’s two steals give her 23 on the season, ranking seventh in the MAC for steals per game (1.91). Austin has a steal in all but two contests this season.
» Eke added three more blocks against BGSU to bring her season total to 26 in 13 games, a team best. The Spaniard sits in first place in the conference in the category, averaging 2.0 rejections per game. The total was just one shy of her season high of four sets against Southern Indiana, Dec. 10.

Historical Notes
» Saturday’s matchup marked the 74th meeting between Eastern Michigan and Bowling Green. The Falcons lead the all-time series, 54-20.

Up Next
The Green and White return home to host the University of Akron, Wednesday, Jan 11, inside the George Gervin GameAbove Center. The contest is scheduled to begin at 7 pm and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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