Eastern Illinois wins eighth straight, tops Golden Eagle women 80-59

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Eastern Illinois women’s basketball team has not lost a game in 2010, and Tennessee Tech was unable to stop the Panthers’ winning ways Thursday night as EIU claimed an 80-59 Ohio Valley Conference victory in Eblen Center.

The win pushed EIU’s streak to eight consecutive victories as the Panthers improved to 9-1 in league play and 13-8 overall. It was EIU’s ninth win in a row over Tech, which slipped to 8-12 overall and 3-7 in the OVC.

Senior Maggie Kloak had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, Dominique Sims topped the Panthers with 21 points and added six boards, and freshman Ta’Kenya Nixon narrowly missed a triple-double, finishing with eight points, eight rebounds and 10 assists for EIU.

Mariah King (12) and Kelsey Wyss (10) also scored in double figures for the Panthers, who used their size to build a 30-16 advantage in the paint. EIU had a 54-41 margin on the boards.

Sophomore Tacarra Hayes paced tech with 19 points. Kellie Cook added 11 points and seven rebounds and Rachel Glidden scored 10.

EIU raced ahead in the opening minutes, taking an early 10-4 lead before Tech fought back with a 9-1 run to claim a 13-11 lead with 12:21 to play in the opening half. A 3-pointer by Glidden with 8:35 remaining had Tech on top by two, 21-19, but it was the last time the home side of the scoreboard had a larger number.

An 11-0 run by the Panthers included five points from Wyss and EIU was up by 10 at 31-21. At halftime, Eastern held a 12-point lead, 43-31.

The Golden Eagles got to within seven in the second half as Hayes scored with 12:54 to play to make it 48-41, but EIU scored the next seven points to regain a double-digit lead.

The difference reached 21 points in the final three minutes and that’s where it ended.

Tech’s four-game homestand concludes Saturday night when the Golden Eagles host Southeast Missouri at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are available at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940.

The Putnam County Health Dept. will once again offer free H1N1 shots to any fans who needs the vaccine, and Tech will give a free ticket to the game to each person being vaccinated.

The women’s basketball team is also encouraging fans to bring canned goods and non-perishable food items for a collection to go to victims in Haiti.