Eastern Washington tops NAU on the road, 64-62, in a back-and-forth game
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — In a hard-fought road victory at 7,000-feet above sea level, the Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team topped Northern Arizona for the fourth-straight time on Saturday (Feb. 2) in Flagstaff. The game itself saw 15 lead changes and five ties in the Rolle Activity Center, and it was the Eagles that secured the 64-62 Big Sky Conference victory.
Eastern Washington was led by three in double figures. Violet Kapri Morrow turned in her sixth 20-plus point performance of the season to lead the Eagles with 21 points. Morrow is now just two points away from moving into 10 th all-time on EWU’s all-time scoring list.
Grace Kirscher scored in double figures for the third time in the last four games, adding 13. In just her second game since Dec. 31, Jessica McDowell-White added 10 points with three made three-point field goals. Uriah Howard added nine points to go with seven rebounds.
“A win is a win. I was really pleased with our effort today, this is a tough trip and Flagstaff is a hard place to play,” said head coach Wendy Schuller . “We didn’t play a perfect game, we were far from it, but if we can give the kind of effort we had today every day then that is definitely the direction we want to be headed.”
The first half alone saw nine lead changes and three ties. The Eagles took their first lead of the opening quarter after McDowell-White drained her first of two first quarter three-pointers to put EWU ahead 12-10. Both teams continued to trade baskets and found themselves knotted at 18-18 after the first quarter.
Howard scored six-straight points in the second frame to make it a 26-26 game. After the Lumberjacks pulled ahead with the largest lead of the game to that point, 30-26, the Eagles responded with a 5-2 run and kept NAU off the board for the final 3:30 to lead 33-32 at the half.
Northern Arizona did not make a field goal for 7:13 of the third quarter, but they kept the game close by making 8-of-12 from the free throw line during that time. The Eagles led 46-39 when the Lumberjacks used a 7-0 run consisting of five free throws to tie the game, 46-46. After being held scoreless for two minutes, Morrow made both free throw attempts to give Eastern a 48-46 lead going into the fourth quarter.
After the Lumberjacks opened the quarter with four-straight points, the Eagles responded with four unanswered of their own to lead 53-50. Grace Kirscher made her third three-point field goal of the night to give Eastern a 62-56 lead when the Lumberjacks responded with a three-pointer of their own.
With :47 remaining, Morrow used a fast-break layup to give Eastern a 64-60 advantage as they looked to put the game away. The Lumberjacks threatened with a layup with less than 30 seconds to play, but it wasn’t enough as Eastern Washington held on for the 64-62 road victory.
In the second half, the Eagles shot 44 percent from the field on 11-of-26 shooting including five made three-pointers.
WIN-LOSS RECORDS: With the win, Eastern snaps a three-game losing streak and improves to 5-14 overall and 4-6 in Big Sky play. Northern Arizona drops to 6-14 and 2-9 in the conference and have now lost two-straight after losing to Idaho last Thursday.
The Eagles have now won four-straight over the Lumberjacks and lead the all-time series 39-26. At Northern Arizona, Eastern improves to 13-18 and EWU has also won nine of the last 10 overall meetings. Under head coach Wendy Schuller, Eastern is 24-12.
TOP PERFORMANCES: Violet Kapri Morrow lead the Eagles with 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. She now has 20-straight games in double figures dating back to last season and 17-straight this season. The senior also added six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
For the third time in the last four games, Grace Kirscher put on a double-digit performance with 13 points, including three made three-point field goals. She had two assists and two steals.
In just her second game since Dec. 31 due to injury, Jessica McDowell-White scored 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting, all from behind the three-point line, and a free throw.
Uriah Howard scored nine points and led the team with seven rebounds. Amira Chandler also had seven rebounds to go with two steals. Bella Cravens led the team with two blocks and Brittany Klaman dished out three assists.
KEY STATISTICS: Both teams were even from the field, with Eastern sinking 40 percent of their shots (23-57) and Northern Arizona made 43 percent on 23-of-54 from the field.
Eastern Washington made 10 three pointers on 27 attempts, marking the fifth-straight game of nine made three-point field goals or more. The Lumberjacks just made three three-pointers on 12 attempts.
The Lumberjacks were 13-for-18 from the free throw line and Eastern was only 8-for-15. Eastern’s bench added 20 points while out-rebounding NAU 38-to-35.
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 21 points this afternoon at Northern Arizona, Morrow moves into 11th all-time with 1,118 points after beginning the afternoon in 14 th . She is just two points away from moving into a tie for 10 th all-time with Tracy Ford (1997-00) and 33 points away from ninth place.
UP NEXT: The Eagles return home to host Montana State on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 6:05 p.m. before taking on Montana inside Reese Court on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 2:05 p.m.
Eastern Washington will go for the sweep after beating both teams on the road earlier this season. For tickets and more information, visit GoEags.com/tickets.