Eastern Washington hosted the Vikings in front of a record crowd for Kid’s Day
CHENEY, Wash. — In front of a record 4,124 at Reese Court, the Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team hosted Portland State on Thursday morning (Jan. 24) for the annual Kid’s Day. Nearly 4,000 local elementary school students were on hand to cheer on the Eagles, who unfortunately fell to the Vikings by a final score of 76-64.
The Eagles had three in double figures, led by Alissa Sealby who had 17 points, just one-shy of a career-high. Freshman Grace Kirscher followed with 16 while Violet Kapri Morrow rounded out the scoring with 11 points. Uriah Howard was just shy of a double-double with eight points and led the team with eight rebounds.
Eastern Washington shot just 35 percent from the field in the contest, but drained 10 three-pointers in the loss. EWU trailed by one point at the half after shooting over 43 percent, but fell into an offensive lull and were outscored 20-5 in the third quarter.
“I thought we had some pop to us and were moving the ball well to start the game. We stuck to our game plan more than anything and our players stepped up and shot the ball with a lot of confidence,” said head coach Wendy Schuller . “I don’t know what happened at halftime to cause a lull, but when the third quarter came around we stopped being as aggressive as we had been offensively. We just weren’t flashing and cutting like we had been and we weren’t shooting the ball with confidence. We just shot the ball to shoot it and this is a high-powered offense that Portland State has, they’re talented and you can’t have those lulls against them.”
Alissa Sealby got the kids cheering with a three-pointer to open up the game and the Eagles continued to hold Portland State without a field goal until the 7:01 mark in the first. The Vikings cut an early deficit to 12-11 when Grace Kirscher hit her second three-pointer of the quarter to make it 15-11. PSU was eventually able to tie the game at 17-17 and led 18-17 after one quarter of play.
Eastern Washington hit five three-pointers in the second quarter and it was Andie Easley that made the first one to tie the game 20-20. Portland State answered back with a three-pointer of their own and Sealby followed with her second three-point field goal of the day to tie things up at 23-23 all. Sealby would make another three-pointer to tie the game, 26-26, when Portland State pulled away with a 5-0 run to lead 31-26.
Violet Kapri Morrow continued with the three-point trend and stopped the run to put the Eagles back within two points. Later on, Amira Chandler scored on a reverse layup to tie the game at 33-33 all, but it didn’t stop Portland State from pulling away. Kirscher made her third three-pointer of the half with seconds left on the clock to put Eastern within one point at the half, 37-36. Eastern made 50 percent (7-14) of its shots in the second quarter, including 5-for-8 from three-point range.
The Eagles didn’t score until the 4:56 mark of the third quarter, and during that time Portland State used a 9-0 run to lead 45-38. The Vikings outscored Eastern Washington 20-5 in the third quarter and led 57-41.
Eastern Washington bounced back and outscored PSU 23-19 in the fourth, shooting 35.3 percent and holding the Vikings to just 3-of-11 from the field and 0-for-4 from three-point range. However, PSU was able to get to the free throw line and made 13-of-17 attempts to help hold the lead and take a 76-64 victory back to Portland.
WIN-LOSS RECORDS: The Eagles now drop to 4-12 overall with a 3-4 mark in Big Sky play. Portland State, who is in first-place in the conference standings, improves to 14-2 and 6-1 in BSC play while continuing a six-game winning streak.
Eastern has lost two-straight to Portland State dating back to last season. EWU still leads the all-time series 35-27 and are 20-9 over the Vikings at Reese Court.
TOP PERFORMANCES: Alissa Sealby led the way with 17 points, marking her fourth-straight game in double figures. Sealby made three three-point field goals, extending her streak of at least two three-pointers to six-straight games. She was also a perfect 4-for-4 from the line and had seven rebounds.
Freshman Grace Kirscher drained four three-pointers to finish with 16 points. Violet Kapri Morrow continued her streak of 17-straight games dating back to last season in double figures with 11 points while leading the team with five assists. Uriah Howard finished with eight points and led the team with eight rebounds, just shy of a double-double.
KEY STATISTICS: Both sides were evenly matched statistically, but Portland State shot 46.2 percent (24-52) from the field and made 23-of-29 of their free throws.
The Eagles shot 35 percent on the day (21-60) and made 10 three-pointers for the third-straight game on 32 attempts. Eastern only took 18 free throw attempts and made 12 of them.
Although they were out-blocked 8-to-2, the Eagles out-rebounded the Vikings 36-to-34 and 15 assists to their 14. The Eagles committed 16 turnovers but forced 12. EWU’s bench also out-scored the Vikings, 20-to-13. Portland State had 12 fast break points.
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, Violet Kapri Morrow continues to climb EWU’s all-time scoring list.
Currently in 15 th -place on Eastern’s all-time scoring list, the senior’s 11 points this morning brings her total to 1,058 career points. She needs eight more to move into 14 th all-time.
UP NEXT: The home stand continues as the Eagles host Sacramento State on Saturday (Jan. 26) at Reese Court for a 2:05 p.m. tip-off. For tickets, visit GoEags.com/tickets.
MORE FROM COACH SCHULLER:
On Kid’s Day: “The kids were awesome. This kind of atmosphere is a lot of fun to play in front of, it provides a lot of energy for our team. Our players work extremely hard so it’s nice and rewarding for them to get to play in front of a group like this. I am thankful for everyone who made it happen – our admissions department and internally, and to all of the schools who came out. It’s a really fun day for our team and it’s great for the kids to get to see these athletes to the things that they do, and to maybe strive and do this one day themselves. If it inspires just one of those kids in the crowd then it was definitely worth it.”