Eastern Officially Kicks Off 2011-12 Campaign This Weekend against Corban and Hofstra

After a dominant showing in 97-61 exhibition win, Eagles looking for same energy and intensity in season-opening weekend at Reese Court

Upcoming Games/Coverage

EWU vs. Corban
Friday, Nov. 11 - 6:05 p.m. Pacific
Reese Court - Cheney Wash. 
Webcast: http://www.bigskytv.org
Live Stats: http://web.ewu.edu/groups/athletics/wbasketball/wblivestats/xlive.htm

EWU vs. Hofstra
Sunday, Nov. 13 - 1:05 p.m. Pacific
Reese Court - Cheney Wash. 
Webcast: http://www.bigskytv.org
Live Stats: http://web.ewu.edu/groups/athletics/wbasketball/wblivestats/xlive.htm

The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team will enjoy home-court advantage in its first four games of the 2011-12 campaign, which officially begins this weekend. The Eagles host Corban University on Friday (Nov. 11) at 6 p.m., followed by a first-ever meeting with Hofstra University on Sunday (Nov. 13) at 1 p.m.

The Eagles celebrated a big win in their preseason tune-up against Warner Pacific on Nov.6. Behind a 54 percent shooting effort and 21 forced turnovers, the Eagles rolled past the NAIA school from Portland, Ore. Eastern's returning All-Big Sky First-Team honoree, Brianne Ryan, scored 28 points in 21 minutes on the floor, while the Eagle bench contributed 47 of Eastern's 97 total points.

All four freshmen on EWU's 2011-12 roster saw action in the exhibition game, combining for 25 tallies. Forward Melissa Williams was a starter for the Eagles, and ended up leading the team on the glass with 10 rebounds. Point guard Kylie Huerta finished with seven points, three assists, two rebounds and one steal.

"I was pleased with a lot of areas from Sunday's game," said Schuller.  "Our energy and intensity levels were high, and we were able to create some offense with our defense. But obviously, as coaches, we saw some things that should be better. We'll watch film and work on correcting those areas in practice this week as we prepare for our first two opponents."

Corban is also an NAIA school in Oregon. The Warriors finished 19-11 in the 2010-11 season and tied for first in the Cascade Collegiate Conference. Corban returned four starters from that squad, including an NAIA All-America Third-Team selection in Katie Steigleman. The 5-11 guard averaged 19.2 points per game on a .436 shooting percentage.

Corban was on EWU's schedule in the 2009-10 season as well, and Eastern overwhelmed the Warriors, 93-33 in that meeting.

The Hofstra Pride will be Eastern's first NCAA Division I test of the season. Hofstra also won 19 games in the 2010-11 season and return four starters, including Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, Shante Evans.

"Hofstra is a really good basketball team," said Schuller. "They really push the tempo and get after it. They also have a post player who is probably as relentless on the offensive glass as any player I have seen in 20 years of coaching. Our players better be ready."

Evans, a 6-foot junior, averaged 18.4 points and 11.0 rebounds during her sophomore campaign with the Pride. In addition to the All-America accolades, Evans was named as a member of the 2011 USA Basketball Women's Pan American Team.

The Pride having several other players to compliment Evans, including returning point guard Candice Bellocchio, who averaged 8.4 points and 5.0 assists per game last season, and Candance Bond, who led the team in steals at 1.1 per game.

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