Eagles Fall to Portland, 77-58

Eagles get out-rebounded 53-31; go 1-1 in opening weekend of 2010-11 season

After a victory in its opening game of the season, the Eastern Washington University women's basketball crumbled in its next outing, as it fell to Portland 77-58 on Sunday (Nov. 14) at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.

Despite forcing 21 turnovers, the Eagles could not find a rhythm on the offensive end. As a team, Eastern shot 34 percent (21-61) from the floor, and made only 5-of-21 shots from beyond the arc. The Pilots knocked down 28 of its 68 field goal attempts, including eight from long range.

"The bottom line is, you have to hit shots to win games," said EWU head coach Wendy Schuller. "We missed a lot of easy baskets and open looks today. We cannot win shooting 34 percent from the field."

"We also need to do a better job of rebounding," added Schuller. "We knew they were bigger than us, but we feel rebounding is simply a matter of effort. Today, we did not have enough of it."

The Pilots dominated the glass on both ends of the floor, earning a 23-13 advantage in offensive rebounds and 20-18 edge in defensive boards. Portland finished the game with 21 second-chance points, compared to 12 for the Eagles.

Eastern held a 21-20 advantage with 7:16 remaining in the first half, but a three pointer from UP's ReZina Teclemariam sparked a 22-4 run by the Pilots to close out the period. Portland scored eight points in the final two minutes to enjoy a 42-25 lead heading into the locker room.

The Eagles managed to cut their deficit to single digits (55-48) at 9:56 in the second, but Portland scored seven unanswered points over the next two minutes to extend its lead to 62-48. The Eagles then missed 11 of its final 13 shots to hand Portland the 77-58 victory.

For the second game in a row, senior Tatjana Sparavalo led the Eagles on offense, as she had with 11 points in just 15 minutes of play. Sparavalo also had five rebounds and two assists. Junior Brianne Ryan, who played a team-high 34 minutes, tied Sparavalo with 11 tallies.

Junior Carrie Ojeda had seven rebounds and two blocked shots for the Eagles, while senior Kyla Evans and junior Chene Cooper both contributed three assists and three steals.

Senior Julie Piper had nine points, six boards and three steals, but the reigning Big Sky MVP missed seven of her 10 field goal attempts and had three turnovers in her 28 minutes on the floor.

Portland's Lauren Angel led all players with 22 points. She also grabbed 10 rebounds, seven of which were off the offensive glass. Alexis Gannis had 11 boards for UP, as well as two blocked shots and one steal.

Eastern will have two days of practice before they return to action against the Idaho Vandals on Wednesday (Nov. 17). Tipoff from the Cowan Spectrum in Moscow is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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