EWU Women take down Wildcats in conference opener
CHENEY, Wash. – A fresh start in Big Sky Conference play for the Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team ended in the win column. The Eagles hosted Weber State on Saturday afternoon (Dec. 28) where they walked away with a 63-53 win.
“We battled. The game got a little bit ugly and physical at times and we had to hang on a little bit at the end, but I’m proud of our team for stepping up and playing hard. I also thought we played smart,” said head coach Wendy Schuller. “Starting off conference season with a win is really important, we’re 1-0 as far as I’m concerned.”
The Eagles only trailed for 27 seconds of the entire game. After falling behind 3-0, the Eagles fired off 16 unanswered points to take a 16-3 lead. Jessica McDowell-White contributed eight first quarter points while Grace Kirscher added seven to help Eastern shoot 52.9 percent from the field while the Wildcats shot just 18.2 percent. At the end of the first, EWU held a 22-10 lead.
After the Eagles rattled off six-straight points to build a 28-12 lead, Weber State responded with a 7-0 run to cut the advantage to 28-19. Kirscher then hit her second triple of the game and a three-pointer from Jenna Dick made it six-straight points for Eastern Washington. Tatiana Reese joined in on the action with the first three-pointer of her career and the Eagles closed the game on a 5-0 run to lead 39-21 at the half.
Eastern Washington made eight three-pointers during the first half alone and shot 43.8 percent from the floor while holding the Wildcats to 28 percent.
Neither team scored until the 6:05 mark of the third quarter when Alexyss Newman made a three-pointer from the top. Eastern’s offense then used a 6-0 run to build a 48-24 lead and led 50-31 at the end of the third, outscoring Weber State by a narrow margin of 11-10 and shooting 50 percent from the field.
The Eagles held on in the fourth quarter after being outscored by the Wildcats, 22-13. Weber State went on an 8-2 run to cut their deficit to 54-43 with less than four minutes remaining and cut the score to 59-53 with 52.6 remaining. Eastern Washington only made two field goals in the fourth, but were strong at the free throw line going 9-for-12 and topped Weber State, 63-53.