San Jose, Calif. - Senior forward Brittany Johnson scored a career-high 22 points and added 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season, and Sara Plavljanin pitched in with 21, but the Eastern Illinois Panthers defeated the San Jose State Spartans 93-71 in The Event Center on Wednesday night.
"We didn't play consistent enough defense to win," head coach Tim La Kose said. "(Eastern Illinois) played very well. They are a disciplined team and work the ball around to get good looks."
Johnson, who has scored in double figures in each of the Spartans (0-4) games this year, also had five assists. Plavljanin's 21 points were a season high, as were her four 3-pointers.
Myesha Broaden equaled her season-high of nine points and grabbed eight rebounds. Ta'Rea Cunnigan led the Spartans with four steals. Brea Matthews was the scoring spark off the bench with nine points and Rachel Finnegan contributed five assists and a steal.
The teams traded buckets for the first 13 minutes and with 6:24 to go before the half Eastern Illinois (EIU) led 23-19. Over the next two and a half minutes, the Panthers went on a 9-to-3 run to open up a double-digit advantage at 22-32 and extended that lead to 15 points, 44-29, by the half.
The Spartans outshot EIU (4-0) in the first half, percentage wise, but the Panthers hit five more buckets than San Jose State with four of those being 3-pointers. The Spartans were also beaten on the glass 23-to-14 including 14-to-5 on offensive boards.
San Jose State would cut the Panthers lead to 11, 46-35 with just under 16 minutes to play, but would get no closer. EIU built as much as a 25-point lead before winning 93-71.
The Panthers had five players score in double figures led by Jessica Parker and Ta'Kenya Nixon with 18 points each. Mariah King and Kelsey Wyss each added 12 and Chantelle Pressley got a 10 point, 10 rebound double-double.
San Jose State travels to San Luis Obispo, Calif., on Friday to participate in the Cal Poly Thanksgiving Tournament. They will face American University on Saturday and host Cal Poly on Sunday.