Feb. 14, 2009
The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team stormed back in the second half to make a game of it before falling 69-59 to Idaho State in a Big Sky Conference game on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 14).
After Morgan Rulon, a senior playing her last game at Reese Court and making her first career start, stole a ball and converted the ensuing lay-up, the teams were tied 7-7 with 15:19 to go in the first half. Unfortunately for Eastern, that would be the last tie of the game, as the Bengals then went on a 15-3 run to go up 22-10 with 11:23 on the clock.
The lead got up to as high as 31-13 with 7:13 left, but the Eagles (10-15, 5-7 BSC) gradually chipped at the lead before finishing up a 7-0 spurt in exciting fashion, as Kyla Evans made a lay-up and Chene Copper proceeded to steal the ensuing inbound pass and lay it in. That made the deficit just five, 41-36, with 14:30 to play in the contest.
However, Idaho State took control right back with a 7-2 run to bring its advantage back to double digits, 48-38 with 12:03 left. Unfortunately for Eastern, the Eagles would be unable to bring their deficit back down to single digits, as the Bengals (8-16, 5-6 BSC).
"I thought on Thursday (in a 69-56 win over Weber State), we played a lot more like we wanted it than we did today," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "We were just complacent and not doing the things we need to do, and our (low) level of aggressiveness showed on the scoreboard."
Eastern's other senior, Amy Bratvold, had a solid game, as she contributed eight points and five rebounds. Rulon nearly doubled her career point total with five today (she had six entering the game). Just 13 seconds into the contest, Jessica Huntington passed it to her, and she unhesitatingly nailed a three.
"They (the seniors) work their tails off every single day, come prepared and are engaged and ready," Schuller said. "They were both named captains this year, and they have both done a tremendous job of leading our team. With six freshmen (on the team), you need to have seniors who will be great examples, on and off the floor, and those two are the epitome of that."
Leading the Eagles in points today was Chene Cooper with 14, the second straight game she has achieved that point total, especially impressive when you consider the freshman's career high was eight entering this week. Brianne Ryan also played well against the Bengals, contributing 12 of Eastern's tallies on the day.
Nicole Scott led the Eagles in rebounding with six. Cooper set the team pace in assists with four, while Scott had Eastern's only block of the contest. Six Eagles had two steals apiece to lead the squad in that statistical category: Rulon, Bratvold, Scott, Cooper, Evans and Ryan.
The Eagles out-rebounded Idaho State, 32-30, but were hurt by 33.9 percent shooting from the field (20-of-59). By comparison, the visiting Bengals made 47.5 percent of their shots (19-of-40).
Eastern will now end the 2008-09 regular season with four straight away games. First up will be Northern Colorado at 12:05 p.m. Pacific Time on Saturday (Feb. 21). The Bears improved to 11-13 with an 80-46 non-conference win over Black Hills State on Friday (Feb. 13). UNC (4-6 BSC) will play host to Portland State on Thursday (Feb. 19).