Eagles Claim Home Opener for Fourth-Straight Year

Nov. 21, 2008

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The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team recorded its highest shooting percentage in a game since the 2004-05 campaign and rode that hot shooting to an 80-70 victory over San Francisco in its first home game of the season on Friday evening (Nov. 21).

The Eagles (1-1) nailed 55.6 percent of their shots tonight (30-of-54), their best average in a contest since the team shot at a 57.8 percent clip (26-of-45) in an 81-56 victory over Portland State on Feb. 12, 2005.

"I am really proud of our effort, and everyone did their job," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "We talked about making that extra pass and getting the right shot for our team, and we did that tonight. In the second half, we had a really good defensive effort - we worked hard to get through screens and made them make tough shots. I am also really pleased with our team's effort on the glass; we out-rebounded them by nine (36-27)."

Leading the way was Kyla Evans, who made 8-of-10 shots. The three-point specialist was covered tightly on the outside and adjusted her game and took just a pair of her attempts from beyond the arc tonight. She finished with 20 points, just two off of the sophomore's career high.

"Kyla is a great perimeter shooter, and they did a really good job keeping her contained from three, where she is pretty deadly, but she did a nice job putting the ball on the floor and knocking down jumpers," Schuller said.

Three other Eagles also had double-digit point totals in the contest: Nicole Scott (17), Julie Piper (16) and Amy Bratvold (11). Meanwhile, Scott grabbed 12 rebounds to record a double-double. Chene Cooper and Evans had four assists apiece to tie for the team lead in that statistical category.

The game was in San Francisco's favor right at the beginning, as the Dons grabbed a 10-2 advantage, but Eastern Washington quickly fought back with six-straight points to cut its deficit to just two at 10-8. The rest of the half, the teams traded the lead four times and were never more than six points apart.

After the teams traded leads six more times early in the second stanza, Cameryn Calhoun nailed a three, her only attempt of the game, to give Eastern a 50-48 lead with 12:11 to play. The Eagles then pulled away from there and never relinquished that advantage.

After a Katy Keating three cut EWU's lead to 54-51, the Eagles scored six straight points to go up 60-51 with 8:45 showing on the clock and never let that lead get below six the rest of the game. Eastern's largest lead of the night of 13 came late, at 76-63 and 79-66.

The Eagles now look ahead to a busy Thanksgiving week. First up is a short road trip to Idaho, as the Eagles face the Vandals in Moscow at 7 p.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 25). Eastern Washington then plays in the Lady Rebel Round-Up against host UNLV at 3:30 p.m. next Friday (Nov. 28). The Eagles face either Cal State Fullerton or Georgia the next day.

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