Dec. 13, 2008
The Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team improved to 4-5 with a 63-58 home win over Pacific on Saturday afternoon (Dec. 13). The Eagles rode 54.5 percent shooting (24-of-44), including a perfect 6-of-6 performance from Nicole Scott, to the win.
“Pacific is an excellent basketball team, and we played extremely hard,” head coach Wendy Schuller said. “We had to battle every step of the way for 40 minutes, and it was a really nice win for us. I was proud to see our players be resilient the way they were and fight and make plays down the stretch.”
The team’s shooting percentage marked the second time this year the Eagles have made more than 50.0 percent of their shots (EWU shot 55.6 percent on Nov. 21 versus San Francisco). By comparison, last year’s team did not reach the 50.0 percent mark once.
Today’s victory was also symbolic of Eastern’s resurgence as a program, as the team has now won as many games as it did in 29 tries last year (4-25). The 2008-09 Eastern team has also won more Division I contests this year (3-5) than the 2007-08 squad did (2-25).
Scott’s perfect performance was the first by an Eastern player (with at least six attempts) since Felice Moore was 6-of-6 at Montana State on March 6, 2004. Two of Scott’s six baskets today were from three-point range. She led the team in scoring with 14 points.
Two other Eagles also had double-digit point totals in the game, as Kyla Evans and Julie Piper contributed 10 points apiece. Tatjana Sparavalo led the team in rebounds with seven, one off her career high. Jessica Huntington had four of Eastern’s 17 assists attained in the game.
Today’s contest went back-and-forth until an Evans three with 10:53 to go earned Eastern a 44-43 lead. Eastern would not relinquish its lead from that point on and converted four clutch free throws within the last 14 seconds (two from Huntington, two from Sparavalo) to put the finishing touches on the win.
After Eastern took an early 10-4 lead to start the game, Pacific (3-5) rallied with its own 11-2 run to grab a 15-12 advantage. The teams then traded leads five more times the rest of the half before the Eagles entered the break with a narrow 32-31 edge. There were just two more lead changes during the first nine minutes of the second stanza before Eastern took the advantage for good with that three from Evans.
The Eagles held the Tigers to 32.3 percent shooting in the second half (10-of-31) after Pacific made half of its first-half attempts (11-of-22). Overall, the Tigers shot at a 39.6 percent clip (21-of-53).
The Eagles next play host to Portland at 7:05 p.m. on Monday (Dec. 15). The Pilots are 3-5 and play at Montana tonight before making the trip to Cheney.