INDIANAPOLIS — The Eastern Illinois women's basketball team didn't get off to a good start in their first road game of the season.
Butler jumped out to an 8-0 run and the Panthers never recovered in the first half. Butler later closed the first quarter on an 8-1 run that turned into a 20-1 into the second quarter.
Butler went into the third quarter with a 41-17 lead and even though EIU had a better third quarter with 15 points, the Panthers only scored five in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs ran away with a 72-37 win on Friday.
"To play well on the road, you have to believe and make plays. We stepped on the court and we were shellshocked," EIU coach Matt Bollant said. "I was just really disappointed in our start. We got sped up and we didn't play with very good poise."
Bollant was happy with the third quarter when EIU scored 15 points. The Panthers shot 38.5 percent from the field (5-of-13) in the third quarter and only were outscored by one point by Butler.
"The third quarter was better," Bollant said. "We played harder and with more poise on the offensive end."
But that was the only quarter where EIU shot better than 30 percent. EIU finished the game 12-of-48 (25 percent) from the field, 6-of-25 from behind the arc (24 percent) and only 7-of-17 from the free-throw line (41.2 percent).
Taylor Steele was the only Panther who finished in double figures with 11 points. Grace Lennox had four steals but was 0-for-5 from the field. No one on the team had more than four rebounds in the game as Butler won the battle of the boards with 47 to only 20 for EIU. The Panthers turned the ball over 24 times.
Butler shot 50 percent (28-of-56) from the field while only hitting two three-pointers. Tori Schickel had a double-double for Butler with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Kristen Spolyar had 15 points and Michelle Weaver had 11 points and five assists.
EIU's next game is Monday at home against Lincoln Christian. The game starts at 6 p.m. at Lantz Arena.