The Devils jumped to a 16-12 lead at the first stop before going a cool 1 of 12 from the field in the second frame as the Comets were able to capitalize, outscoring Tipton 16-5 in the frame, going up 28-21 at the half.
“We settled down too much offensively,” Tipton’s Comer said of the second-quarter lull. “We decided to settle for jump shots, quit probing the lane, things we had a lot of success with in the first quarter we got away from a little bit.”
The Comets’ lead grew as large as 10 on two occasions in the third quarter as Eastern took a nine-point, 39-30 advantage into the final quarter.
Juday kept the Devils in it down the stretch, scoring nine of Tipton’s 14 points in the final frame. She finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman Macie Lively finished with 13.
Taylor Holliday chipped in nine for Eastern, while Ally Oyler finished with eight. Bethany Neeley, who battled foul trouble for much of the game with the tough defensive assignment against Juday, went scoreless for the first time in her career.
“Bethany doesn’t need to score,” Dexter said. “She’s always been a tremendous player who does all the intangibles. That’s what she’s done her whole career. She battled some foul trouble, but she guarded Kacie. Kacie is just a tremendous player and for a while in the fourth quarter, you’re just wondering, because Kacie’s good enough, is she just going to take this all on her back and win this game? Bethany and Brittany did a tremendous job guarding her.”