EWU women’s basketball opens Big Sky play in the win column with road victory at Weber State
OGDEN, Utah — Every team starts the conference season fresh with an 0-0 record, but the Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team gets to add one in the win column after defeating Weber State on the road, 64-58, to start Big Sky Conference play with a victory.
Eastern Washington, who trailed by 12 points with 9:27 in left in the game, had four score in double figures. They were led by freshman Grace Kirscher and senior Violet Kapri Morrow who each had 13 points apiece. Jessica McDowell-White had 12 while Brittany Klaman rounded out the scoring with 11.
The game itself saw six lead changes and five ties.
“Being down on the road in the fourth quarter is an awful hole to be in and our team showed the relentless nature we are striving for,” said head coach Wendy Schuller . “We will enjoy this for a bit and then regroup for the next one and a tough one at Idaho State.”
The Eagles used a 7-0 run early on the in the first quarter to lead 9-3 while holding the Wildcats without a field goal until the 6:15 mark. Weber State then responded with a 7-0 run of their own to take their first lead, 10-9. Eastern responded with a quick 5-0 spurt to pull back ahead by four points and were able to hold a two point, 14-12, lead after one quarter of play.
Violet Kapri Morrow completed an old-fashioned play and Uriah Howard connected on a three-pointer to give the Eagles their largest lead of the game in the second quarter, 24-18. Weber State would not back down and threatened by coming within two points, 26-24. Morrow then hit a corner three-pointer to extend the lead, but the Wildcats responded and pulled back within two points, 33-31. With eight seconds on the clock, Morrow made her second corner three pointer and it gave Eastern a 36-31 lead at the break.
Eastern Washington held a 39-34 lead following a Brittany Klaman three-pointer to open up the third frame. Weber State then exploded on an 8-0 run to take its first lead since the first quarter, 42-39. An Alissa Sealby three-pointer stopped the run and tied the game at 42-42. From there, both sides fell cold until the Wildcats used a 9-0 run to pull ahead 51-44. Grace Kirscher put a stop to the run with a jumper, but WSU held a 10-point advantage after three quarters, leading 54-44.
Kirscher fired off five-straight points to help put the Eagles on a 6-0 run, cutting their deficit to 56-50 to open the fourth. That’s when the Eastern Washington defense locked down, holding Weber State without any points for 7:42 of the fourth quarter. During that time, the Eagles chipped away at their deficit. A Morrow layup made it a 10-0 run and brought Eastern within two points. Klaman then scored four-straight points to put the Eagles in the lead for the first time since the third quarter, 58-56. Weber State would eventually snap the run, but strong free throw shooting down the stretch from EWU helped them cap a 20-2 fourth-quarter run en route to a Big Sky-opening victory, 64-58.
WIN-LOSS RECORDS: The victory snaps a seven-game losing streak for the Eagles who now improve to 2-8 on the season. Weber State falls to 3-8 and have now lost five-straight.
The win marks the fourth-straight victory for Eastern Washington over Weber State. The Eagles are now 22-15 all-time in Big Sky Conference openers, including 5-1 over the Wildcats. Eastern is also 9-8 all-time in conference openers that take place on the road.
TOP PERFORMANCES: The Eagles had four score in double figures for the second time this season. Violet Kapri Morrow and Grace Kirscher led the way with 13 points each. Morrow has now scored in double figures in each game she’s appeared in this season and Kirscher reached double digits for the fourth time this year.
Alissa Sealby led the Eagles with eight rebounds and added seven points. Amira Chandler led the team with a career-best three blocks. Klaman led the team with four assists, while Kirscher had three. Morrow had four steals.
KEY STATISTICS: Eastern Washington shot 37 percent (22-59) from the field while the Wildcats shot 34 percent (20-58). The Eagles made nine three-pointers to WSU’s three. Despite being outrebounded 47 to 32, Eastern Washington forced 21 turnovers and only committed 16. The Eagles also dished 13 assists to Weber State’s six and had five blocks to their four. Eastern was also reliable from the line, making 11 of 15.
KAPRI’S QUEST TO 1,000: Senior Violet Kapri Morrow is on the road to joining one of the most exclusive clubs in college basketball, the 1,000-point club. With 13 points at Weber State, Morrow now has 932 points and needs just 68 more to become the 18 th player in Eastern Washington women’s basketball history to eclipse 1,000 points.
Morrow is currently 24 th on Eastern’s all-time scoring list. She needs four more points to pass Tatjana Sparavalo (2008-11) for 23 rd all-time with 936 points.
UP NEXT: The Eagles now prepare for Idaho State on Dec. 31 in Pocatello. The final game of 2018 is set to tip-off at 5 p.m. Pacific time.