Eastern hits season-high 11 three-pointers, but USD finds a way to make it up at the free-throw line
Although the Eastern Washington University women's basketball team recorded a higher field goal percentage than its opponent, and knocked down a season-high 11 three-pointers, the Eags could not hold on in the final minutes, as they fell to San Diego, 72-61 on Saturday (Dec. 18) at the Jenny Craig Pavilion in San Diego, Calif.
The Toreros hit 26-of-31 free throw attempts in the game, including six in the final minute and a half. The Eagles managed to get to the line only three times total on Saturday afternoon, making four of those six attempts.
Despite the discrepancy at the charity stripe, Eastern remained a threat until the final few minutes when things started to unravel. With 5:33 remaining on the clock, the Eagles trailed San Diego by just one point at 60-59. But the team in Red and White then missed eight of its final nine shot attempts, while USD converted three field goals and 6-of-8 free throws to pull away with the 72-61 victory.
Prior to the drought, Eastern had made a season-high 11 three pointers, compared to just four by USD. Senior Tatjana Sparavalo hit 4-of-8 attempts from long range, while senior Kyla Evans knocked down three. Juniors Chene Cooper and Brianne Ryan also contributed two apiece.
Eastern finished the game with a higher field goal percentage than the Toreros, hitting 23-of-59 shots, compared to 21-of-59 by USD. But San Diego managed to get the makes when it counted most. USD also out-rebounded Eastern 46-31, including a 19-9 edge in offensive boards.
Sparavalo led the Eagles with 17 total points on 43 percent shooting. Cooper, who was coming off a career night of 24 points and 10 rebounds, finished with 12 tallies and a team-leading six caroms. She also added four assists.
With the loss, Eastern fell to 3-7 on the season, while San Diego improved to 8-3 and remained undefeated against the Eagles with a 4-0 record in the all-time series.
EWU will get back to action on Tuesday (Dec. 21) when it travels to Corvallis, Ore., to take on the Beavers of Oregon State in Eastern's final game before Christmas break. Tipoff from Gill Coliseum is scheduled for 7 p.m.