Special to the Register
The Eastern Kentucky University women’s basketball team overcame a slow start and pulled away late to defeat Jacksonville State, 69-51, on Saturday at Pete Mathews Coliseum.
Junior Marie Carpenter led EKU (10-6, 4-1 OVC) with 15 points in her first start since she suffered a hand injury in the Lady Colonels’ season opener against Miami (Ohio). Nine of Carpenter’s 15 points came on three key three-pointers in the second half that helped EKU pull away. Senior Brittany Coles also connected on three three-pointers and finished the game with 13 points. Senior Alex Jones, meanwhile, made her 100th career start and notched her 29th career double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds), tying her for second all-time at EKU for career double-doubles.
Bria’unna Buckner paced JSU (0-19, 0-7 OVC) with 15 points off the bench, while Candace Morton contributed 10 points and five assists in the losing effort.
EKU, which leads the OVC in every major defensive category, held JSU to 28 percent shooting from the field (18-of-65) and from behind the arc (5-of-18).
JSU raced out to a 12-6 lead at the second media timeout of the first half, thanks to a 9-0 run that was capped by a jumper by Morton with 11:52 on the clock. EKU slowly clawed back and tied the game, 15-15, when senior Jalisa Bryant converted a layup five minutes later. The teams swapped leads over the next four minutes before the Lady Colonels ended the half on a 9-0 run.
Junior Pilar Walker’s three-pointer at the buzzer sent EKU into the locker room at halftime up by nine, 30-21.
EKU carried that momentum into the second half as the Lady Colonels built a 19-point lead, 52-33, when Coles scored on a putback with 7:51 remaining in the game. The Gamecocks cut the lead to 10, 55-45, on a Destiny James layup with 4:47 on the clock.
However, EKU then went on an 8-0 run to put the game away for good.
EKU returns to action on Monday when the Lady Colonels face Belmont in Nashville. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.