Eastern Michigan women's basketball blows out Akron, 91-46
Statistics indicated a high-scoring game was brewing at Eastern Michigan’s Convocation Center on Saturday.
It just wasn’t supposed to be by only one team.
The EMU women’s basketball team shut down the Mid-American Conference’s top scoring squad and had a points outburst of its own, winning 91-46.
Senior guard Tavelyn James scored 31 points and sophomore guard Natachia Watkins added 26 points as the Eagles put up their best scoring total since a 110-31 season-opening win against NAIA Marygrove College in November.
The Eagles (14-7, 6-2) remained tied atop the MAC West standings. Co-leader Toledo (13-7, 6-2) battled back from a double-digit second half deficit to win 77-75 at Buffalo.
Akron (9-13, 3-5 MAC East) entered Saturday’s game with the MAC’s best scoring offense (74.5 points) and its worst scoring defense (73.6 points).
The Eagles started increasing the Zips’ defensive average shortly after taking a 40-point lead, 73-33, on a Watkins jumper with 9:13 left to play.
Akron’s offensive numbers, however, took a blow right from the opening tip.
The Eagles led by 15 points just eight minutes into the game, and their leading scorer hadn’t even warmed up yet.
James, who averages a MAC-best 23.3 points, took over from there. She scored 10 of the game’s next 14 points and EMU had a commanding 31-6 lead midway through the first half.
The Eagles led 51-19 by halftime behind 21 first-half points from James.
James and Watkins both attempted 24 shots during the game. Watkins hit 13 of them and added a team-high 13 rebounds in 35 minutes of play. James went 12-of-24 from the floor, including 4-of-10 from 3-point range, in 28 minutes.
Senior forward Paige Redditt added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Eagles. Carly Young and Candace Martino each scored eight points for Akron.
As a team, the Eagles made 44.7 percent (38-of-85) of their shots compared to 24.5 (13-of-53) for the Zips.
The game was the opener of a doubleheader at the Convocation Center. The men’s basketball team hosts Bowling Green at 6 p.m.