Eagles edged by Sacramento State, 73-70

Eagles edged by Sacramento State, 73-70

The Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team hosted Sacramento State on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 26) inside Reese Court. Trailing 60-44 to start the fourth quarter, the Eagles worked and cut their deficit to a point but the attempted comeback fell short as the Hornets topped EWU by a final score of 73-70.

Eastern was led by two in double figures, as Violet Kapri Morrow poured on 27 points on 10-of-18 from the field with four made three pointers while leading the Eagles with seven rebounds. Uriah Howard rounded out the scoring with a season-high 16 points on 4-of-7 from the field and two three-point field goals while going 6-of-8 from the free throw line. Alissa Sealby added nine points and seven rebounds.

After Brittany Klaman opened the game with a corner three-pointer, Sacramento State responded with a 7-0 run. The Eagles then exploded for 10-straight points, which included five points each from Morrow and Howard to make it an 18-11 game. The Hornets closed the quarter on a 7-0 run and the Eagles led by one point, 20-19, after one quarter of play.

Sacramento State’s run continued into the second quarter with seven more points as they led 26-20. The Eagles then had to play catchup and came within one point after Grace Kirscher drained a three-pointer. A Morrow fast-break layup would give EWU a 30-29 lead, but it was the Hornets that used a 6-2 run to close the half and take a 36-32 lead into the locker room.

The Eagles shot just 37.5 percent in the first half and were 6-of-15 from three-point range behind Morrow’s 10 points. The Hornets shot 51.7 percent (15-of-29) from the field and were 5-for-11 from behind the arc.

Sacramento State pulled away in the third quarter, as the Eagles were only able to shoot 20 percent (2-of-10) from the field and went without a field goal for nearly five minutes of play. The Hornets shot 52.9 percent from the field and led 60-44 after three frames as the Eagles were outscored 24-12.

“I obviously have to do something to do a better job to get us ready to play coming out of halftime, because this has been a resounding theme out of the last couple of games and it can’t keep happening,” said head coach Wendy Schuller of the team’s performance in the third quarter. “We prepare too hard and the team plays too hard for us to come out not ready to go. I don’t know why all of a sudden we’re doing this, but we have to do something to change our routine because it’s a killer to put ourselves in a hole like that.”

The Eagles made things interesting in the fourth quarter. Trailing by 60-44 to start the final period and 67-57 with 5:32 remaining, the Eagles used a 10-0 run to come within six points to make it a 69-63 game. Morrow hit a three-pointer to cap a 7-2 run for Eastern Washington and made it a one-point contest, 71-70 with 2:03 on the clock. With nine seconds remaining, Sacramento State’s Kennedy Nicholas headed to the line and made both free throws and that proved to be the difference maker as the Hornets held on for the 73-70 victory.

Eastern Washington shot 53.3 percent in the fourth quarter and were 7-for-8 from the free throw line, outscoring the Hornets 26-to-13.

WIN-LOSS RECORDS: With the loss, the Eagles fall to 4-13 on the season and 3-5 in Big Sky play. Sacramento State improves to 7-9 and 3-5

The loss snaps a four-game winning streak over the Hornets as the series record now moves to 34-17 in Eastern’s favor. The Eagles are 15-7 over the Hornets at Reese Court.

TOP PERFORMANCES: Violet Kapri Morrow extended her double-digit scoring streak to 15-straight games and 18-straight dating back to last season with a 27 points performance to lead all scorers. She also led the team with four assists and seven rebounds.

Uriah Howard tied a season high with 16 points and six rebounds. Alissa Sealby also had seven rebounds to lead the Eagles while adding nine points. Bella Cravens was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line and led EWU with two blocks while adding a steal. Brittany Klaman also added three assists and led the team with three steals along with Grace Kirscher .

KEY STATISTICS: The Eagles turned the ball over 21 times, resulting in 23 points for Sacramento State. Eastern Washington scored 20 points off of 16 forced turnovers to go with 10 steals and 14 assists.

Sacramento State shot 48.3 percent on the afternoon on 29-of-60 from the field. They were 6-of-16 from three-point range and 9-for-14 from the free throw line. The Eagles shot just 38.6 percent (22-57) but made nine of 21 three-pointers and were 17-for-22 from the charity stripe.

Eastern Washington out-rebounded the Hornets 38-to-30.

UP NEXT: The Eagles head back on the road next week as Big Sky play rolls on. EWU closes January with a matchup at Southern Utah on Jan. 31 at 4:30 p.m. Pacific time. On Saturday, Feb. 2 the Eagles take on Northern Arizona in Flagstaff for a 1 p.m. PT tip.

When the Eagles from back to Reese Court next, they’ll go for a sweep of the Montana schools, first taking on the Bobcats from Montana State on Feb. 7 at 6:05 p.m. before hosting Montana on Feb. 9 at 2:05. For tickets and more information, visit GoEags.com/tickets.

1,000 POINTS AND COUNTING: After becoming the newest and 18 th member of Eastern Washington’s 1,000-point club at Montana on Jan. 10, 2019, Violet Kapri Morrow continues to climb EWU’s all-time scoring list.

After scoring 27 points this afternoon against Sacramento State, Morrow moves into 14 th all-time, passing Cristy Cochran (1983-86). The senior has now compiled 1,085 career points and needs 20 more to move into 13th with 1,105 points.

MORE FROM COACH SCHULLER:
On the Difference Between the Third and Fourth Quarter: “We started to play hard. I called a timeout and all we talked about was emotion and the need to play hard and the need to play with energy and we started to do that in the fourth quarter.”

On Uriah Howard’s Performance: “I thought Uriah Howard shot the ball very well. She’s starting to shoot with a lot of confidence which we’ve needed her to do all year, she’s been working hard to get herself there. It’s good to see her score, she came out from the get go confident and ready to shoot the ball.”

On Bella Craven’s Performance: Bella Cravens was part of giving us the energy that we were lacking. She plays with a little bit of swag and has great energy and athleticism to protect the lane and make things happen. I thought she gave us a lift with her aggressiveness.”