Nov. 29, 2008
The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team dropped a 75-51 decision to Georgia in the championship game of the Lady Rebel Round-Up, played in Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 29).
The Eagles shot at a high level in the second half, making 60.0 percent of their shots (12-of-20), responding well to 30.4 percent shooting before the break (7-of-23). In fact, the team has not shot that well in a half since Dec. 21, 2007, when the Eagles made 60.6 percent of their attempts in the second half at Pacific (20-of-33).
"I was proud of our effort today," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "Georgia is talented and really played well. I thought it took a bit to adapt to the size of an SEC team, but we shot it much better, and found ways to make shots and plays, in the second half.
"Our defensive effort was improved this weekend, and I thought we grew as a team here in Las Vegas."
Eastern's leading scorer today was Kyla Evans, who scored 16 points and made 6-of-8 attempts, 4-of-5 from beyond the three-point line, to respond impressively from a down shooting performance the day before (1-of-7). Julie Piper also scored in double figures today, as she had 10 points. Piper also set the team pace in rebounds with six. Brianne Ryan made 4-of-5 from the floor and tallied nine points.
Georgia (5-1), a team that has advanced to the last 14 NCAA Tournaments, jumped out to a 5-0 lead and held on to a lead the rest of the afternoon. Although Eastern Washington (2-3) did respond immediately with four straight points (three from Ryan and a free throw from Piper) to cut the deficit to one at 5-4, that would be the closest the Eagles would get to their Southeastern Conference opponent.
With 13:31 to play in the half, Eastern cut Georgia's lead to two at 14-12 when Evans nailed a three. The Lady Bulldogs pulled away at that point and took a 16-point advantage at 32-16 just before the half-time break and kept at least a 13-point difference between the teams the rest of the game.
Eastern Washington, who had earned an impressive 70-69 road overtime victory over host UNLV in the tournament semifinals, continues its stretch of six games in 12 days with the fourth of those contests at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday (Dec. 2) at home versus Montana Tech. The Eagles also play host to Gonzaga on Thursday (Dec. 4) and travel to Utah State next Saturday (Dec. 6).