March 7, 2010

Pairings Set for Big Sky Tournament at Reese Court

Eastern will play Friday against lowest remaining seed, while Big Sky power Montana will also receive first-round bye


2010 Big Sky Conference Women's Basketball Tournament (all times Pacific)

Reese Court -- Cheney, Washington -- Hosted by Eastern Washington University

Thursday, March 11
3:30 p.m. - Seed #6 Montana State (16-13, 9-7 BSC) vs. Seed #3 Sacramento State (15-14, 10-6 BSC)
6 p.m. - Seed #5 Portland State (15-14, 9-7 BSC) vs. Seed #4 Idaho State (15-14, 10-6 BSC)

Friday, March 12
3:30 p.m. - Seed #2 Montana (15-13, 10-6 BSC) vs. Highest Remaining Seed
6 p.m. - Seed #1 Eastern Washington (19-10, 12-4 BSC) vs. Lowest Remaining Seed

Saturday, March 13
2:05 p.m. - Championship Game


With the potential of a championship game matchup between Eastern Washington University and perennial league power Montana, pairings are set for the Big Sky Conference Women's Basketball Tournament which will take place this Thursday through Saturday (March 11-13) at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.

The tournament gets underway at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time on Thursday when No. 6 seed Montana State (16-13, 9-7 BSC) takes on third-seeded Sacramento State (15-14, 10-6 BSC). At 6 p.m., fifth-seeded Portland State (15-14, 9-7 BSC) takes on No. 4 seed Idaho State (15-14, 10-6 BSC).

In the opener Friday at 3:30 p.m., Montana (16-13, 9-7 BSC) will face the highest remaining seed from Thursday's round. Eastern Washington (19-10, 12-4 BSC), the tournament host and regular season Big Sky Conference champion, will play at 6 p.m. against the lowest remaining seed (Montana State if it wins, or the winner of the PSU vs. ISU game if Sac State is victorious).

Friday's winners play in the championship game at 2:05 p.m. Pacific time. Eastern was 2-0 this season against Montana State, but split the season series against the other four teams. The lone home loss in league play for the Eagles came against Sacramento State by a 78-69 score on Feb. 6, but EWU had defeated the Hornets in Sacramento 90-85 on Dec. 31.

"It is really special and we are very excited about the opportunity to host the conference tournament," said Eastern head coach Wendy Schuller, who directed EWU to its first-ever regular season title. "I think it is great for the community and Eastern Washington University. The 1987 team at Eastern won a conference championship and it has taken us a long time to get back to that point, so we are very excited about following in their footsteps many years later."

The 1987 Eastern team finished second behind Montana in the league standings (the Big Sky was then known as the Mountain West Athletic Conference), but knocked off the Grizzlies 77-74 in Missoula in the tournament championship game. That earned EWU its first and only women's berth to the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to Oregon 75-56.

But that 1987 loss in the title game was rare for the Grizzlies, who are 44-9 all-time in the tournament compared to an 8-14 record for the Eagles. In 28 years from 1983-2010, Montana has won or shared 20 regular season league championships, has hosted the tournament 19 times and has won 18 tourney titles while finishing as the runner-up on four occasions.

 

More About the Big Sky Conference Tournament . . .

All tickets for the tournament will be general admission and are now on sale via www.ticketswest.com or 800-325-SEAT. All-Session passes must be purchased by 11 a.m. on March 12, and are available for $20 for adults, $15 for senior citizens and $10 for EWU students and children high school age and under. Single-session tickets are priced at $15 for adults, $6 for senior citizens, $5 for EWU students and students ages 8-17 and $3 for children seven and under.

Tickets discounts will also be available for families, and a limited number of complimentary EWU student tickets will also be available courtesy of the Associated Students of Eastern Washington University (ASEWU). More information will be available later or may be obtained Monday (March 8) after 9 a.m. at 1-866-4GO-EAGS, 509-359-4339 or www.goeags.com.

All games in the tournament may be viewed live at www.bigskytv.org, with the championship game televised regionally by Altitude Sports and Entertainment. In addition, Eastern's semifinal game will be carried via radio in the Spokane area on 790-AM, with Larry Weir calling the play-by-play. If EWU advances to the title game, that may be heard on 1510-AM.

 

Eastern In the Big Sky Conference Tournament  (8-14)

2006     Q - Weber State 74, Eastern Washington 69 at Pocatello, ID

2005     Q - Idaho State 82, Eastern Washington 55 at Missoula, MT

2004     Q - Eastern Washington 58, Weber State 57 at Missoula, MT
            S - at Montana 81, Eastern Washington 54

2003     Q - Eastern Washington 71, Portland State 64 at Ogden, UT
            S - at Weber State 64, Eastern Washington 55

2002     Q - Eastern Washington 70, Northern Arizona 57 at Ogden, UT
            S - at Weber State 68, Eastern Washington 51

2001     Q - Montana 76, Eastern Washington 55 at Pocatello, ID

2000     Q - Idaho State 55, Eastern Washington 46 at Missoula, MT

1996     Q - Weber State 71, Eastern Washington 63 at Missoula, MT

1995     S - at Montana 75, Eastern Washington 45

1990     S - at Montana 72, Eastern Washington 61

1988*    S - Eastern Washington 81, Montana State 65 at Missoula, MT
            C - at Montana 79, Eastern Washington 53

1987*    S - Eastern Washington 71, Weber State 65 at Missoula, MT
            C - Eastern Washington 77, at Montana 74

1986*    S - Eastern Washington 62, Idaho 60 at Missoula, MT
            C - at Montana 65, Eastern Washington 39

1985*    S - Montana 66, Eastern Washington 65 at Moscow, Idaho

1984*    S - Eastern Washington 82, Idaho 71 at Missoula, MT
            C - at Montana 77, Eastern Washington 62

Q = Quarterfinals; S = Semifinals; C = Championship Game; *Mountain West Athletic Conference.

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