Post-match press conference | Photo gallery
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team fell to the University of Akron, 64-53 at home, inside the George Gervin GameAbove Center on Saturday, February 12.
The Eagles (5-15, 2-11 MAC) saw three players score in double digits, led by senior redshirt Ce’Nara Skanes (Oklahoma City, Okla.-Putnam City West (Florida International)) with 20, followed by senior redshirt Areana’s Combs (Oklahoma City, Okla.-Putnam City West (Oklahoma State)) who added 19, and junior Natalia Pineda (Miami, Florida – John A. Ferguson) with 10. Junior red shirt Juanita Agosto (Seattle, Washington-Garfield) led the Eagles with four offensive rebounds, while Combs led the team with three assists.
Defensively, Skanes led the team with 10 rebounds while three Eagles recorded two steals. Eastern forced Akron to 17 turnovers, while committing just 12 himself. The Eagles turned those takeaways into nine points on the offensive side of the floor. Additionally, EMU held UA to 30 percent shooting from deep, five percent below their pre-contest season average.
How did it happen
Eastern Michigan started the scoring with a 5-0 run, culminating with a Skanes bucket, to take an early lead with 8:12 left in the first quarter. The Eagles then lost some of that lead, but still entered the break quarter with a 16-14 advantage. Eastern Michigan did most of its first-quarter damage in the paint, scoring eight of its 16 near-basket points.
Akron rallied to take a 30-21 lead before Eastern Michigan went on a 5-0 run, starting 2:00 into the second period, to cut their deficit to 30-26. Akron responded and extended their lead, leaving the Eagles trailing 35-28 before halftime.
Eastern and Akron both had 15 points in the third quarter, holding the deficit to 50-43 going into the fourth. Eastern Michigan played well near the basket, scoring 10 of its 15 points in the paint. The Eagles took advantage of their opportunities in the post, scoring six of his 10 points on the key. The Eagles couldn’t come close in the fourth, losing by a 64-53 finish.
The Eastern Michigan defense held Akron to 30 percent (6 of 20) shooting on three. The Zips averaged 35.0 percent from beyond the arc heading into the contest, which ranked third in the Mid-American Conference.
Eastern forced Akron to 17 turnovers in the contest and committed just 12. It’s the 13th time this season the Eagles have won the turnover battle against their opponent and the ninth time the Greens and White win this battle in the MAC game.
Pineda reached double digits for the second time this season, scoring 10. It was the junior’s 15th double digit performance of her career.
The Eagles have three players scoring in double figures in Skanes (21), Combs (19) and Pineda (10). Eastern saw three or more double digits for the third straight game, as well as the 14th time this season and the eighth time in MAC play.
Skanes earned his 20th career double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds. His performance marks the eighth of the season for the second year in red shirt.
Including his 19 nature performances this season, Combs has now recorded double-digit goal efforts in 61 of his 64 career games for the Green and White (95.3%). This number is the highest percentage in the Mid-American Conference.
Eastern shot just 13% (3 of 23) from three in the contest against Akron, the season’s fourth-worst shooting performance from deep.
EMU had 13 offensive boards against the Zips, or 34.2 percent (13 of 38) of its total rebounds. The Eagles got 30% or more of their rebound production on the offensive end of the floor 14 times during the 2021-22 campaign.
Skanes, Combs and Pineda combined account for 94% of the Eagles’ points.
Combs finished with 19 points and five rebounds. It’s the 7th time this season that she’s had at least 19 points and five rebounds in a contest.
Three Eastern Michigan players have recorded two or more interceptions, including a freshman Lachelle Austin (Redford, Mich.-Wayne Memorial)Senior Courtnie Lewis (Belton, Mo.-Belton) and combs.
Today marked the 46th meeting between Eastern Michigan and Akron. With the win, the Zips now lead the series 27-19.
With 19 points against Akron, Combs is only 34 points behind the former Eagle Kristy Maska (1997-2001) which ranks 17th in program history with 1,228.
The Eastern Travels will head to Athens, Ohio to take on the Ohio Bobcats on Monday, February 14. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.