The 16th-ranked Emory women’s basketball team defeated the Birmingham Southern Panthers 82-59 on Friday. With the road win, the Eagles raised their record to 6-0.
Senior center Danielle Landry scored a team-high of 16 points, all in the second half of the game.
The Eagles came out with only 10 turnovers, compared to the Panthers’ 25, and converted 10-of-25 three-point field goal attempts. It was Emory’s second time notching double figures from beyond the arc on the season.
The Eagles were strong on defense as well.
“One thing we really executed well on Friday was our full court press. Ten minutes into the game it was evident that the other team was struggling to catch their breath,” said senior guard Katie Dickerson.
Head Coach Christy Thomaskutty came away impressed with her team’s consistent effort.
“The girls made a big run in the first half and we definitely got momentum back going into the second half,” Thomaskutty said. “The key for us was to start the second half strong and I was really proud to see us do exactly what we needed to do.”
Landry led the charge with seven baskets in the last 20 minutes of play. Senior forward Misha Jackson, junior guard Hannah Lilly, and junior point guard Savannah Morgan all came out strong as well, racking points up for the Eagles throughout the game.
“We are off to a great start and are energized over the incredible potential that this team has,” Dickerson said. “Ultimately the only thing that is going to get us to a national championship is consistency.”
Jackson and Lilly each added 14 points, and Morgan scored 12 points, alongside five assists and no turnovers. Lilly and Morgan shot well from beyond the arc, notching four and three three-pointers, respectively.
“We are doing better. Every practice and every game, we set the goal to just keep getting better,” Thomaskutty said. “We did some different things defensively and tried wout some new moves, and I was really proud of the girls for that.”
The Eagles were at a 34-20 advantage at halftime. Jackson and Lilly contributed five buckets and two three-point field goals, respectively, during play.
Lilly’s nine consecutive points in just under six minutes sparked a 17-10 Emory run and gave the Eagles a 28-14 lead.
“We have moments of greatness, but as a team we are still working on putting together 40 solid minutes of play in every game,” Dickerson said. “We have put a lot of pressure on ourselves and this is something that we work to hold each other accountable for everyday in practice.”
Emory’s defense stepped it up, forcing 16 Birmingham Southern turnovers and giving the Eagles ample opportunities at shot attempts.
“I knew that Birmingham Southern is a tough competitor, but we came in focused and prepared and we performed well,” Thomaskutty said. “If we do that every night we are going to be ready for anything this year and we will be able to do great things.”
Over the final 20 minutes of the game, the Eagles completed 19-of-30 of their field goal attempts, largely following Landry’s strong offensive effort.
“This is another big week for us. We are playing another three games, including our competitive rival Agnes Scott,” Thomaskutty said. “They are playing well this season. They are quick, which will be a challenge for us.”
The Emory players were quick to give praise to the Panthers.
“Birmingham Southern was the toughest competition we have faced so far,” Dickerson said. “We came out on top because we were better conditioned, and because we were hungry for another win.”
The Eagles will be playing next on Monday, December 3rd, at the Woodruff P.E. Center against Agnes Scott College.
— By Nicola Braginsky