Eastern Overcomes First Half Deficit

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The Eastern Lady Eagles (10-4, 8-2) were able to avenge their early season loss to the Southern Lady Tornadoes (10-4, 8-2) winning 34-28 on Monday night. Eastern fell behind 18-8 at half but were able to come back by making changes offensively and defensively at half time.

Early on defense reigned supreme as no points were scored during the first 5:30 of the game. The score was 5-4 in Southern’s’ favor after one quarter and established that this game was going to be a defensive battle.

The Lady Eagles only scored 8 points in the first half, all by Elizabeth Collins. The 2-3 zone Southern used allowed very few open looks to Eastern and allowed the Lady Tornadoes to jump Eastern’s passing lanes and force 13 turnovers.

Coming out of halftime Eastern began driving to the hoop, getting layups and open looks. Defensively the Lady Eagles switched to a full-court trap that forced Southern to turn the ball over and created havoc in the Lady Tornadoes backcourt.

With Madison Williams out with a knee injury and Laura Pullins scoring her only 2 points in the third quarter others were forced to step up.  Collins led the Lady Eagles offensively scoring 12 points and grabbing 6 boards. Becca Pullins and Alyson Bailey each contributed 7 points along with Jess Parker adding 6 points.

Pullins was able to help Eastern despite being shutdown offensively grabbing nine rebounds, dishing out four assists and stealing four passes.

“Most young groups would fold up and be the heck with it but they’re scrappers, they can scrap when they want to,” said John Burdette, Eastern coach.

Southern’s Cleland and Faith Teaford dominated on the boards, combining for 27 rebounds. The Lady Tornadoes struggled from the free-throw line making only 10 of 25 with eight of the makes by Teaford. Teaford finished with a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 boards.

Eastern plays Miller (2-11, 2-8) on Thursday Jan. 14, who it beat earlier this season.