Eastern ends historic season with loss in first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament
The Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team was defeated 95-66 by the Oregon Ducks in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament Thursday (March 18) at McArthur Court in Eugene, Ore.
The loss puts an end to what has been a historic season for Eastern. The Eagles soared to new heights over the course of the 2009-10 season, finishing 19-12 overall and 12-4 in the Big Sky Conference. The team started off Big Sky play 7-0 to mark its best league start in the history of the program.
The Eagles then went on to win their first regular season conference championship in school history and went to a national postseason tournament for the first time in 23 years. Junior forward Julie Piper won the Big Sky MVP award and head coach Wendy Schuller was awarded Coach of the Year honors, a program first.
Brianne Ryan led the Eagles in scoring with 16 points in the contest along with eight rebounds. Senior Nicole Scott added 11 points and five rebounds in her final appearance for the Eagles.
Breauna Russell and Chene Cooper both added 10 points each; the output was a career-high for Russell. Senior Jessica Huntington had five points, five assists and four rebounds in her final game.
The Eagles shot just 30.3 percent from the field, including 23.1 percent on 6-of-26 shooting from the three-point line. The Ducks shot 52.2 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Eagles 55-41.
The game was tied 11-11 at the 16:11 mark of the first half but the Ducks pulled away to go into halftime with a 22-point lead with the score at 48-26. The Eagles played better in the second half but were still outscored 47-40.
It was the second meeting on the season between the two schools as the Ducks opened their season with an 86-48 victory over the Eagles on Nov. 16 in Eugene.