Eagles drop double overtime contest to Montana State

Eastern Washington dominates MSU at home, 74-49
Eastern Washington Eagles

CHENEY, Wash. — The Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team led the top team in the Big Sky Conference, Montana State, for over 30 minutes of a double-overtime thriller today (Jan. 18) at Reese Court. Despite setting a new program record with 17 three-pointers in a single game, the Eagles dropped the contest by a score of 89-85.

The freshmen duo of Jenna Dick and Kennedy Dickie set new career-highs with 21 and 19 points, respectively. In addition, Jessica McDowell-White turned in the second double-double of her career and season with 18 points and 12 assists.

“I’m really proud of our players and I think Eag Nation should be proud of them. It’s kind of an old adage that you’d hate for either team to have to lose because both teams really left it out there and played extremely hard. We had a lot of players making a lot of shots. I thought we had some opportunities and just didn’t take advantage of it. It was a physical game and I don’t think that helped us with some of the things that were a result of that physicality,” said head coach Wendy Schuller. “I think we have a really good basketball team. I hate it when I look at our record, but I think we have a really good basketball team. I still believe in us, I feel like we’re a volcano that just has snow on top of us and we’re getting ready to erupt.”

Eastern Washington opened the game on a 5-0 run and held Montana State without a field goal until the 5:30 mark as the Bobcats went 0-for-7 from the field to start the game. The first quarter saw three lead changes and Montana State used a 10-3 run to pull ahead 16-11. With nine seconds on the clock, Dick hit a corner three following a cross-court pass from McDowell-White to bring the score to 16-14 after one quarter of play.

The second quarter was competitive as it saw four ties and three lead changes. It was Eastern Washington who led in the end, using a 10-3 run to lead 36-28 at the half. The Eagles outscored the Bobcats 22-12 and shot 69.2 percent (9-13) from the field while holding MSU to 26.7 percent (4-15).

For the half, the Eagles shot 60.9 percent (14-23) from the field and 75 percent (6-8) from three-point range. They held the Bobcats to just 31 percent (9-29) from the floor and 27.3 percent (3-11) from behind the arc. Kennedy Dickie led the Eagles at the half with 13 points after a perfect 3-for-3 from three-point range, seven of which came in the second quarter. McDowell-White ended the half with seven assists.

Eastern’s lead built to 11 points, 41-30, after Dickie’s fourth three-pointer of the day. From there, Montana State used a 12-0 run to take a 42-41 lead. The Eagles stayed composed as the two sides traded baskets and found themselves tied 49-49. That’s when Dick, Grace Kirscher and McDowell-White hit consecutive three-pointers for a 9-0 run to give Eastern a 58-49 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Montana State outscored the Eagles 23-14 during the fourth quarter and opened the frame with seven unanswered points. Another 7-0 run by the Bobcats late in the quarter cut MSU’s deficit to just a basket, 69-67. A Dick three-pointer put the Eagles back ahead by five points, but Montana State responded and came within a point, 72-71 with 1:25 left. The Bobcats headed to the line with 25.6 seconds remaining and went 1-for-2 to tie the game 72-72. Eastern’s game-winning three-point attempt fell short, and the Eagles and Bobcats headed to overtime.

Both teams scored six points each during the first overtime period and were locked and 78 points apiece to send the game into double overtime.

It was Montana State who gained the edge in the second overtime period. Down 83-81 after a Kirscher three-pointer, Dick was fouled and made both her free throw attempts to tie the game back up 83-83. With 42.1 seconds remaining, McDowell-White would even the game once again, 85-85. The Bobcats would get the final say, making a layup with 10 seconds left and then hit two free throw attempts to seal the victory, 89-85.

WIN-LOSS RECORDS: The Eagles fall to 2-13 on the season and 1-5 in Big Sky Conference play. Montana State, the top team in the league, improves to 10-6 and 6-1.

The Bobcats and the Eagles have now gone to overtime in two out of the last three meetings, each claiming a victory. It was the sixth game out of the last 10 that has been decided by 10 points or less.

TOP PERFORMANCES: Jenna Dick led the Eagles with a career-high 21 points. She was 7-for-9 from the field, 5-for-6 from three-point range and a perfect 2-for-2 from the free throw line.

Kennedy Dickie set a new career-high for the second-straight game, totaling 19 this afternoon. She pulled down six rebounds to help lead the team and was 5-for-6 from three-point range and 6-for-10 from the field.

Jessica McDowell-White turned in her second double-double of her career and the season. The sophomore finished one-point shy of a career-high with 18 and tied her career-high 12 assists. Her assists total ties for ninth all-time in EWU single game history. She also added six rebounds.

Leya DePriest added eight points, three assists and led the team with two blocks. Alexyss Newman led the Eagles with three steals.

KEY STATISTICS: Eastern Washington set a new program record with 17 three-pointers, breaking the previous record of 15 against Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 8, 2016.

For the second-straight game, the Eagles outshot their opponents. Eastern Washington shot 45.6 percent from the field (31-68) and 53.1 percent from three-point range (17-for-32). The Bobcats shot 40 percent (28-70) from the field and were 10-for-26 (38.5%) from beyond the arc.

Free throws and rebounds were lopsided. The Eagles were just 6-for-7 from the free throw line to Montana State’s 23-for-32. Eastern Washington was also outrebounded, 51-to-30.

The Eagles put up their best game of the season in the paint, adding 28 points. The bench added 29 points and 21 of Eastern’s 31 field goals were assisted.

UP NEXT: The Eagles enter another week break from competition following today’s game. On Saturday, Jan. 25, Eastern Washington will travel to Cedar City, Utah for a 1 p.m. Pacific time tip against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds. On Monday, Jan. 27, the Eagles take on Northern Colorado in Greeley for a special 11 a.m. PT matinee.