Grace Kirscher leads the Eagles with 22 points in loss at Southern Utah

Grace Kirscher leads the Eagles with 22 points in loss at Southern Utah

A back and forth contest in Cedar Utah didn’t go the Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team’s way tonight (Jan. 31) as the Eagles fell to Southern Utah by a score of 73-63.

Grace Kirscher led a trio of double-digit scorers with a career-high 22 points. The freshman drained 6-of-6 three-point attempts which ties for seventh in single-game program history. Violet Kapri Morrow scored 12 points for her 19 th -straight game in double figures. Freshman Bella Cravens added a career-best 11 points, her first game in double figures, while adding seven rebounds.

“Grace had a heck of a game offensively,” said head coach Wendy Schuller . “Otherwise, it was a rough night for us on that end. We need to regroup quickly and find more efficient ways we can score.”

The Eagles got off to a hot start in the first quarter, knocking down six of their first 10 shots behind Grace Kirscher’s three three-pointers. After a 5-0 Southern Utah scoring run tied the game at 11-11 early on, Eastern Washington responded with a 7-0 spurt to lead 18-11. The Thunderbirds were able to close the first quarter on a 6-0 run, but EWU hung on to lead 18-17 behind Kirscher’s 11 first-quarter points while shooting 50 percent from the field as a team.

Eastern Washington fell into a scoring drought in the second quarter as they were held scoreless for five minutes of play while the Thunderbirds took a 24-20 lead. Kirscher’s fourth three-pointer, on her fourth attempt, of the night put Eastern back within one point. A layup from Andie Easley tied the game 27-27, but it was the Thunderbirds who took the 29-27 into the locker room.

EWU shot 40 percent from field goal range in the first half on 10-of-25 shooting while holding the Thunderbirds to just 36.7 percent (11-30).

Kirscher’s fifth three-point field goal opened the scoring for the Eagles in the second half. Tied 34-34, Southern Utah scored seven unanswered points in 48 seconds to take a 39-34 lead and the Thunderbirds never looked back from there. Another 6-0 run helped them lead 49-43 after three quarters of play.

Eastern scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and held Southern Utah off of the board for over three minutes. The Eagles shot 42.1 percent in the fourth and Brittany Klaman would hit back-to-back three-pointers as the game winded down, but the spark came too late as the Eagles fell to the Thunderbirds by a score of 73-63.

WIN-LOSS RECORDS: Tonight’s loss drops the Eagles to 4-14 on the year and 3-6 in Big Sky Conference play. The Thunderbirds improve to 6-13 overall and 3-7 in the league.

Eastern Washington leads the all-time series over Southern Utah, 11-8. Before tonight, the Eagles had won two-straight over the Thunderbirds and three-straight in Cedar City.
TOP PERFORMANCES: Freshman Grace Kirscher had a career night as she led the team with a career-high 22 points, her second 20-plus point performance of her young career. Kirscher made six three-pointers on six attempts, a mark that ranks in a tie for seventh all-time for three-pointers in a single game in EWU program history. She went 8-for-10 from the field with five rebounds.

Violet Kapri Morrow followed with 12 points and five rebounds, marking her 16 th game in double figures and 19 th -straight dating back to last season.

In just 12 minutes of action off the bench, Bella Cravens scored a career-high 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and was just short of a double-double with seven rebounds. She also recorded a block for the fourth-straight game.

Uriah Howard led the team with eight rebounds. Brittany Klaman had nine assists to lead the Eagles and added six points and five rebounds.

KEY STATISTICS: The Eagles shot just 39.7 percent from the floor of 23-of-58 shooting. Eastern Washington drained nine three-pointers, but shot just 31 percent from behind the arc. They were also only 8-for-14 from the free throw line.

Southern Utah made 43.3 percent of its attempts on 26-of-60 shooting. They were only 4-for-18 from three-point range, but made 70.8 percent of their free throw attempts (17-24).

Eastern had four blocks to Southern Utah’s none. The Thunderbirds scored 40 of their points in the paint and only committed seven turnovers to Eastern’s 14.

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. She has currently totaled 1,097 points to rank 14 th all-time. She needs eight more to move into 13 th with 1,105 points.

UP NEXT: The road trip continues on Saturday, Feb. 2 with a contest at Northern Arizona. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. Pacific time.