GREENVILLE, Ill. - The women's basketball team took Tuesday night's game against Blackburn as an opportunity to honor seniors Maria Rodriguez, Lauren Eagleson, Leila-Marie Cahill, Nailah Ray, and Ashley Dryden in their final regular season home game before holding on for a 72-69 win over the Beavers.
With head coach Roy Mulholland electing to give his five seniors the starting nod, the group played the first five and a half minutes of the game together and outscored Blackburn 11-2 before their usual starters entered the game. Eagleson scored eight points over this stretch.
By the end of the first quarter, Greenville had built a 24-8 lead. By the end of the game, it turned out that the Panthers needed every bit of that first quarter lead to fend off the Beavers in the end.
Blackburn began to claw their way back into the game in the second quarter, and the Panthers led 38-31 at the half. The score got even tighter in the third quarter with Blackburn shaving another two points from the deficit and entering the fourth quarter down 50-45.
In the final stanza, the Panthers never let go of the lead, but Blackburn made things close in the final seconds with a three-pointer that reduced Greenville's lead to 70-69. The Beavers were forced to foul and put Emily Reinneck at the free throw line where she made both and secured GU's 72-69 win.
Madelyn Stephen, Reinneck, and Eagleson all surpassed 10 points in the GU win. Stephen totaled 13 points, Reinneck had 12 points, and Eagleson finished with 11 points.
Reinneck ended as Greenville's leading rebounder with eight, and Eagleson was tops in assists with four.
The Panthers (6-9, 3-3 SLIAC) were scheduled to play Spalding on Saturday, but the game was cancelled due to COVID-19 precautions surrounding the Spalding program. The Panthers return to the court at Iowa Wesleyan on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.