CEDAR CITY, Utah -- The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team collected a hard-fought 67-66 win at Southern Utah on Saturday (Jan. 21) in Big Sky Conference action.
"Sometimes you have to find a way to win," said head coach Wendy Schuller. "It's been a long road trip and we are beat up, so I was really pleased with our effort today against a tough Southern Utah team. I thought it was good for us to be able to scratch and claw to get a way to win today."
The Eagles had to gut-out a victory against the Thunderbirds, as they saw their nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter slowly evaporate during the first four minutes of the day's final frame. Eastern held a 61-60 lead with 4:34 left in the game, but they would never give up the lead, as they matched SSU point-for-point over the next four minutes of play.
Senior Tisha Phillips gave Eastern Washington held a four-point lead with 20 seconds left in the contest, however, Southern Utah was able to sink a 3-point field goal with 10 seconds remaining to pull back to within a point at 67-66. The Thunderbirds were able to force a turnover on the ensuing inbounds to give them the ball with back 7.2 seconds remaining on the clock.
Eastern's defense stood tall on the game's deciding possession, as they forced Southern Utah to miss a baseline jumper from 15-feet out, to pick up a thrilling 67-66 win in Cedar City.
Senior Ashli Payne was one of four Eagles to score double-digits on Saturday, as she scored a team-best 19 points and went 3-of-6 from behind the arc. The forward added a game-high 11 rebounds to pick up her third double-double of the season.