CINCINNATI (WKYT) -- EKU’s women’s basketball team trailed by 21 points in the second quarter and 16 points early in the fourth, but staged a late comeback to beat Xavier University, 56-55, on Sunday in Cincinnati.
A free throw 12 seconds into the fourth quarter put the Musketeers on top by 16, 45-29. The Colonels (6-3) then rolled off three straight 3-pointers from Teri Goodlett, Qay Stanton and Samari Mowbray to close within seven, 45-38. Eastern’s first six field goals in the fourth quarter were 3-pointers. After Xavier took a 50-41 advantage, De’Ayra Davis and Mowbray hit the final two triples to make it a 3-point game, 50-47, with 5:18 left in the game.
A free throw and a jumper from the wing by I’Liyah Green tied the game for the first time, 52-52, with 2:06 to go. Green gave EKU its first lead, 54-52, with a lay-up at the 1:33 mark. Stanton had a steal and Green had a block on Xavier’s next two possessions. Goodlett hit 1-of-2 at the stripe with 31 seconds remaining to push the lead to three. The Musketeers missed two 3-point attempts on the other end. Stanton’s free throw with four seconds to go, made it a 4-point margin at 56-52, and proved to be the clincher.
Xavier (1-7) hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Through the first three quarters of the game, the Colonels made just 20 percent of their shots (10-for-49) from the field. In the fourth quarter, EKU torched the nets to the tune of 75 percent (9-for-12), including hitting on 6-of-8 (75 percent) from behind the 3-point line.
Green finished the game with 11 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals. She tied the school record with seven blocked shots in the game. Stanton had 13 points. Goodlett contributed seven points, seven assists and seven rebounds.
Eastern Kentucky missed its first 10 shots from the field and started 3-for-28. With the Colonels starting slow, the Musketeers used a 14-3 run from the end of the first quarter through the mid-point of the second quarter to build a 20-point advantage, 29-9.
After Xavier took its largest lead of 21, 32-11, with 3:20 remaining in the first half, Eastern scored the final seven points of the quarter. Stanton and Mowbray made back-to-back 3-pointers before EKU missed on five straight free throws. Anysa Jordan’s second free throw attempt set the halftime score at 32-18.
Eastern Kentucky shot 18 percent (6-for-34) from the field in the first half and made just 3-of-10 at the free throw line. The Musketeers made 5-of-11 from behind the arc, but connected on just 6-of-22 from inside it.
The Colonels rolled off five unanswered early in the third quarter on back-to-back baskets by Green and a free throw from Goodlett to make it an 11-point game, 34-23, but Xavier led by 15, 44-29, going into the fourth.
No Musketeers scored more than nine points in the game. A’riana Gray finished with nine points and 17 rebounds.
Eastern’s stretch of three straight road games continues at Vanderbilt next Sunday. Tip-off in Nashville is scheduled for 4 p.m.