Dec. 9, 2006
The run-and-gun contest saw Eastern score its most points in any game played since a 105-79 win at
The Eagles and Bulldogs have repeatedly played close games the last several years. Last season, Gonzaga claimed a 54-51 victory, while seven of the last eight meetings have been decided by seven points or fewer.
"I was really proud of our team and our effort," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "Gonzaga is a very good team and they play very hard, and I thought we matched their intensity level. I could not have asked for anything more from them in terms of effort and energy. I liked the fact that we were able to get the game into a tempo and style of play that we are comfortable with.
"We have a lot of respect for Gonzaga and today we showed that we are right there as a program. Our kids are starting to understand that by plugging away and working hard, we will get where we want to go. We took a step forward today in believing in our style and what we are capable of."
Three players had career-high point totals in today's contest.
Phynique Allen actually attained a couple of career highs, as she tallied 22 points, breaking her previous high of 14 attained versus Washington on Nov. 21, while her rebound total of nine almost doubled her previous Eagle standard of five. She shot 13-of-15 from the free throw line.
Leading the team in scoring was Joanna Chadd, who tallied 23 points, the fourth time in nine games this season that she has surpassed the 20-point mark. She hit all nine of her free throws in the contest.
Sydney Benson almost doubled her previous career high in points scored, tallying 20 versus the Bulldogs on impressive 8-of-12 shooting. Her previous high-water mark was 12 against the Huskies earlier this year. She also contributed eight rebounds to the Eagle cause.
Katy Baker had 17 points in the game, which also marked the most points she has ever scored in a game as an Eagle. She led the team in rebounds today with 11.
Brittney Osborn paced the defensive efforts with a trio of steals and made all four of her free throws, finishing with nine points.
The majority of the contest, the Eagles held tight with Gonzaga, but just could not get over the hump. Following an impressive beginning for Eastern, as the Eagles led, 17-8, seven minutes into the game, the Zags rallied with a 15-6 run to tie the contest at 23. Although Eastern would stay close the entire contest and dramatically force an extra session, a subsequent Allen layup would give Eastern its last lead (25-23) of the game.
At that point, Gonzaga went on a 15-2 run to go up by 11 (38-27) with 5:10 left and went into the locker rooms with a 51-42 edge. That lead would fluctuate from 2-9 points for the next 19:16 until a Baker layup with 44 seconds left brought the Eagles to within one at 86-85. Following a Sasha Polishchuk free throw to put Gonzaga up by two, Allen nailed a pair of clutch free throws with 13 seconds left to tie the game. Benson rebounded a Gonzaga miss as time ran out in regulation.
The Bulldogs were unable to garner greater than a four-point lead in overtime, but would not relinquish it, either. With three seconds left, a pair of Jami Bjorklund free throws put the game out of reach, giving Gonzaga a four-point edge at 103-99, while a Chadd three at the buzzer provided the final points of this scintillating contest.
Eastern forced 24 Gonzaga turnovers, while only making 16 itself.
Eastern Washington will continue its three-game homestand on Friday (Dec. 15), as
List of 100-point outings for
114 versus St. Marin's (114-16 win on Dec. 1, 1978)
107 versus George Fox (107-49 win on Dec. 15, 1978)
102 versus Gonzaga (103-102 loss on Dec. 9, 2006)
102 versus Montana State-Northern (102-65 win on Dec. 3, 1978)
List of 100-point outings for Gonzaga