Poor shooting and rebounding too much to overcome as Eastern is defeated by Cal Poly 66-59
The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team came from 16 points down in the second half to bring itself within two points, but was unable to take the lead and fell 66-59 to the Cal Poly Mustangs Wednesday (Dec. 16) at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.
Eastern shot just 29.9 percent while Cal Poly shot 44.2 percent. The Mustangs out-rebounded the Eagles by 19 but had 25 turnovers compared to 15 by the Eagles. Eastern missed 20 of its 27 three-point attempts in the game.
"The two things we cannot do is get out-rebounded and shoot the ball the way we did," said head coach Wendy Schuller. "You are not going to win a lot of basketball games when you shoot the ball 29.9 percent and get out-rebound like we did."
"I think there were some positives though, including the fact that we forced 25 turnovers," said Schuller. "I thought that Cal Poly pressured us defensively and we only turned the ball over 12 times, so we took pretty good care of the ball."
Kyla Evans finished as the leading scorer for the Eagles, pouring in 16 points - 12 of which came from behind the arc. Julie Piper and Nicole Scott both contributed 10 points. Scott had a team-high seven rebounds and Piper finished with six.
Cal Poly got off to a hot start in the first half, taking a 17-4 lead by the 11:02 mark. Eastern went on a 14-4 run to bring the score to within three points and went into halftime down 28-19.
The Eagles quickly found themselves down 16 points at the 17:18 mark in the second half, but in six minutes used a 19-5 run to cut the Mustang lead to 42-40. The Mustangs pulled away for good with a 12-2 run to seal the victory.
"We knew coming in that Cal Poly was a really good basketball team and I think they showed that tonight," Schuller added. "Their defensive pressure kind of rushed us into shots and we have to knock those shots down. A lot of it is contributed to what they did. We have to respond better and I think the bottom line was field goal percentage and rebounding."
The Eagles (6-4) will now head to Irvine, Calif., to take on the UC Irvine Anteaters Saturday (Dec. 19) at 4 p.m. and will match-up with Cal State Fullerton Monday (Dec. 21) beginning at 7 p.m.