December 18, 2006

Eagles Defeated by Davidson

Dec. 18, 2006

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The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team (4-7) dropped a 67-58 decision to Davidson (10-2) in a high-energy contest on Monday evening (Dec. 18). The Eagles held close with the Wildcats until late when Davidson pulled away to earn its nine-point win. The Wildcats entered the day with an RPI of 46 and are off to their best start in school history.

 

The Eagles saw some impressive performances from several players. Sydney Benson led all players in scoring with 15 points, while two other Eagles posted double-digit point totals: Tara Holgate and Katy Baker. Each finished with 10. Holgate also had four blocks to tie for the Eagle season high (Nicole Scott swatted away four shots in EWU's season-opening win over Montana Tech). Eastern's team total of seven blocks is the second-highest of 2006-07 after that Montana Tech contest.

 

"I thought our big kids did a nice job," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "Sydney and Tara both got into a little rhythm, rebounded well and defended well inside. They are both shooting better every game for us, and that is good."

 

Phynique Allen tied her career high for blocked shots with a pair and led the way in the assists category with five.

 

The beginning of the contest was very close, as the first lead by either squad greater than three points came 12 minutes in when an Amanda Murdoch trey earned Eastern an 18-12 advantage. That lead would be the largest that Eastern Washington would earn in the contest (they would tie it on four occasions later in the opening stanza). The Eagles would hold a lead the last 15-1/2 minutes of the half, going into the locker room with a one-point edge, 31-30.

 

Eastern's largest advantage of the second half came with 12:53 remaining, 43-39, but Davidson quickly went on a 4-0 run to tie the contest. Following a made free throw for the Eagles, a Wildcat lay-up gave Davidson an advantage it would not relinquish with 10:46 showing on the clock. Its largest lead of nine was the final result, 67-58.

 

"Turnovers and free throws were huge tonight," Schuller said. "You cannot shoot 47 percent from the free throw line and turn it over 30 times. It makes it tough to win. Davidson came after us, and it was a very physical game. We just have to be physical back in a game like that. We have to be able to take care of the ball when there are arms flying. Hopefully we learned a lesson against a very good team. We have to be able to make big plays down the stretch, which we were not able to do."

 

The Eagles close out their pre-Christmas schedule on Wednesday (Dec. 20), taking on Saint Mary's (3-7). The Gaels ended a six-game losing streak on Sunday, topping Cal Poly, 77-64. The contest begins at 7:05 p.m. in Moraga, Calif. Eastern Washington plays its next home game on New Year's Eve, taking on Portland at 1:05 p.m. that day.

 

"We are going to keep battling," Schuller said. "We are going to be fine. That was a good basketball team we played tonight."

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