Panthers Play Host to UIS in Preseason Tune-up

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Published on November 2 2012 5:01 pm
Last Updated on November 2 2012 5:01 pm
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – The Panther women’s basketball team plays host to Illinois-Springfield on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. in the squad’s lone exhibition game. Admission is free for fans looking to catch their first glimpse of the 2012-13 women’s basketball team.

THE OPENING TIP
The Panther women’s basketball team returns 11 players from last year’s squad that posted a 22-9 (13-3 OVC) record and advanced to their third consecutive postseason tournament. EIU participated in the WNIT for the second time in three years when they faced Texas Tech in the first round of the tournament, falling 85-71 in Lubbock, Texas.

THREE PANTHERS EARN PRESEASON ALL-OVC HONORS
Seniors Mariah King, Ta'Kenya Nixon and Sydney Mitchell were named to the Ohio Valley Conference's Preseason Team as selected by conference head coaches and sports information directors on Oct. 23 at the conference’s annual media day. Nixon is a two-time ‘OVC Defensive Player of the Year’ and a three-time All-OVC First Team selection while King has been named to the All-OVC Second Team twice.

EIU PICKED TO FINISH SECOND IN WEST DIVISION, RECEIVE FIVE FIRST PLACE VOTES
EIU was picked to finish second in the OVC’s West Division and received five, first-place votes behind divisional favorite and defending OVC champions UT Martin who received 19, first-place votes. This season the OVC will split into two divisions with the addition of Belmont to the league.

SIU Edwardsville was selected to finish third in the west division followed by Murray State, Austin Peay and Southeast Missouri. Tennessee Tech was tabbed to capture the east division, earning a total of 15, first-place votes. Eastern Kentucky was picked to finish second followed by Belmont, Morehead State, Tennessee State and Jacksonville State.

NIXON NAMED TO LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD LIST
Senior Ta’Kenya Nixon was named a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for women's basketball on Wednesday, Oct. 31. The guard is one of 30 players to be selected to the initial award's list.

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.

BUCHANAN NAMED HEAD COACH
On May 29, 2012, EIU hired Lee Buchanan to guide the Panther women’s basketball program after spending the previous five seasons as an assistant and associate head coach. During his five years on the bench, EIU has had its most successful five-year run since the program began. EIU has made three consecutive postseason tournaments twice playing in the Women’s WNIT and once in the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI). The program has amassed 106 wins with three, 20-win seasons in the last four years. EIU has played in three OVC Tournament Championship games in the past five seasons and won its first regular-season OVC title in 2010.

2012-13 REGULAR-SEASON OPENER: INDIANA STATE
The Panthers will open the 2012-13 season at Indiana State on Friday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. CT. EIU defeated the Sycamores last season in Charleston, 75-60, on Dec. 10.