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Courtesy: ISU Athletics
Team Effort Leads Sycamores Over Panthers In Season Opener, 69-39
Courtesy:ISU Athletics
Danny Pfrank

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Indiana State women's basketball team won their fourth-straight opening game of the season on Friday night inside Hulman Center as four Sycamores went into double-figures in a 69-39 victory over Eastern Illinois in front of 2,668 fans.

Junior Anna Munn paced ISU, tossing in 18 points with 10 coming in the second half. Sophomore Racheal Mahan posted her first career double-double, adding 10 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Taylor Whitley (14) and sophomore Travecia Franklin (12) also went into double-digits, while sophomore Jessica Valley added 12 rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals.

After Eastern Illinois (0-1) grabbed an early 4-2 lead, the Sycamores went on a 13-0 run over the next four minutes to pull in front by a 15-4 margin. In that ISU run, Whitley scored seven of ISU's 13 points, including a trey to cap the run with 12:45 remaining in the half.

Indiana State (1-0) would lead 36-9 at the break, the fewest points allowed in a half under fourth-year head coach Teri Moren. The ISU defense forced the Panthers to shoot just 4-for-25 (16%) in the opening 20 minutes of action, while the Sycamores went 16-for-33 (48.5%) from the field.

Whitley led the team with nine points in the first half, while also dishing out three assists and tallying four steals.

Eastern Illinois came out strong from the halftime break, cutting the ISU lead to 40-22 with 16:49 remaining on three-pointer by Ta'Kenya Nixon, but Indiana State responded with an 8-0 run of their own to push the lead to 26 points, at 48-22 with 11:11 remaining on a layup by Mahan.

Indiana State claimed their 11th consecutive home victory over Eastern Illinois on Friday, a streak that dates back to the 1992-93 season.

Whitley finished the game with five assists, moving the ISU senior into a tie for eighth place in program history with 282 for her career. Valley stuffed the stat-sheet on Friday night, providing 12 rebounds, four points, four assists, two steals and one block.

For the game, ISU shot 44.8% (26-for-58) while holding EIU to a 26.9% effort (14-for-52). Indiana State led 32-10 in points in the paint, 16-4 in second-chance scoring.

Three Sycamores made their collegiate debuts on Friday, as freshmen Kasey Johnson (three points, three assists), Marina Laramie (six points, two rebounds) and Kalliste Haskins (two minutes) all played their first game at Indiana State.

Indiana State has the rest of the weekend off before playing their lone Monday night game of the season, as the Sycamores host the Marshall Thundering Herd on Monday, Nov. 12, at 7:05 p.m. inside Hulman Center.

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