BOZEMAN, Mont. - Trailing by 14 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Eastern Washington University women's basketball team picked up a come-from-behind overtime road victory at Montana State on Saturday (Jan. 19) afternoon by a final score of 89-87.
Violet Kapri Morrow led all scorers with a career-high 37 points, which is tied for third all-time in Eastern Washington history for points in a single game. Alissa Sealby (18) and Leya DePriest (12) rounded out the double-digit scorers with new career-highs as well. Brittany Klaman dished out 10 assists.
The Eagles, who found themselves in a 14-point deficit to start the fourth quarter after trailing most of the game, scored 33 points in the fourth period of play. With 12 seconds remaining, Violet Kapri Morrow hit a contested three-pointer to send the game into overtime with a 74-74 tie.
Morrow started off the scoring for the Eagles in the overtime period with another three-pointer, her fifth of the day. She wasn't finished with the big shots, Eastern Washington trailed 87-86 with seven seconds remaining when Morrow took the ball coast-to-coast and scored the layup for the game-winning basket. She was fouled and completed the old-fashioned three-point play to give Eastern the 89-87 victory.
"Wow, all I can say is that was a heck of a game by both teams. Violet Kapri Morrow was like a steam engine and once she picked up some speed she just kept rolling, an awesome game for her. Alissa Sealby was huge with a new career-high and Brittany Klaman took care of the basketball with 10 assists and only one turnover," said head coach Wendy Schuller. "It was a phenomenal job and I am extremely proud of our team. Everybody showed huge heart and guts, from the players that were out on the floor to the kids on the bench who kept our energy high even when we trailed by 16."
Eastern Washington got on the board first, but both sides were sluggish to begin the contest. Montana State fired off an 8-0 run to help lead the Eagles by a score of 14-9 after one quarter of play.
Morrow drained three three-pointers in just over a minute and a half of play to help give the Eagles a 20-17 lead. However, EWU couldn't score for nearly four minutes of the second quarter and it left the Bobcats able to use another 8-0 run to lead 32-25 at the half despite Morrow's 15 first-half points.
The Eagles struggled in the third quarter. After being held without a field goal for over three minutes of play, EWU was just 5-of-19 from the field and were outscored 23 to 16.
Amira Chandler started the fourth quarter scoring for the Eagles with four-straight points. The Eagles were down 72-63 with 3:40 remaining when they used an 8-0 run that was capped off by a Sealby three-pointer to bring the score to 72-71. Montana State pulled back ahead by three points, 74-71, when Morrow hit the tying three-pointer to send the game into overtime.
The overtime period was fast paced, with Eastern only outscoring Montana State 15-to-13 in the five-minute span. The game was tied 84-84 with :38 seconds remaining, and thanks to Morrow's old-fashioned three-point play following the fast break layup, Eastern hung on to the 89-87 hard-fought overtime win.
WIN-LOSS RECORDS: Eastern Washington now improves to 4-11 overall with a 3-3 mark in Big Sky Conference play. It was Eastern's first game since Jan. 10 when they beat Montana on the road. This is the first time the Eagles have won back-to-back games all season.
This is also Eastern's second overtime game of the season, both coming in Big Sky play. It's the second overtime game in three contests, as the Eagles fell to Northern Colorado on Jan. 7 at home.
Montana State falls to 9-8 overall and 4-3 in the conference standings. Eastern's win snaps a four-game losing streak to the Bobcats, marking the first win since Jan. 21, 2016. Eastern is now 14-22 all-time in Worthington Arena. The last three meetings between the two teams have been decided by three points or less.
TOP PERFORMANCES: Violet Kapri Morrow led all scorers with a career-high 37 points which is tied for third all-time in Eastern Washington history for points in a single game. The total marks her first game over 30 points and her 13th-straight game in double figures – 16th dating back to last season.
Morrow shot 14-for-23 including 5-of-8 from three-point range, also a career-high. She made 4-of-5 from the free throw line.
Alissa Sealby followed with a new career-best 18 points after draining four three-pointers. Sealby now has three-straight games in double figures and has made at least two three-pointers in the last five games.
Leya DePriest stepped up for the Eagles with a new career-high 12 points while also leading the team with seven rebounds, also a career-best.
Brittany Klaman led the way with 10 assists, with only one turnover, marking the first time an Eagle has dished out 10 or more assists since Tisha Phillips on Jan. 14, 2016 at Southern Utah.
KEY STATISTICS: The Eagles scored a season-high 89 points and shot a season-best 50 percent from the field on 34-of-68 shooting. Eastern Washington also drilled a season-high 12 three-pointers on 23 attempts (52.2 percent) while making 9-of-12 from the free throw line (75.0 percent).
Montana State also shot the ball well, shooting 46.9 percent (30-34) from the field while making 11 three-pointers on 32 attempts. MSU made 16-of-21 from the line (76.2).
The Eagles outrebounded the Bobcats, 37 to 33, but committed 18 turnovers while forcing 10. However, the Eagles did set a season-high 23 assists. The lead changed eight times and the game included seven ties.
1,000-POINTS AND COUNTING: After becoming the newest and 18th 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.
After a 37-point performance at Montana State this afternoon, the senior now has 1,047 career points to move up to 15th all-time after beginning the game in 18th. Morrow needs 19 points to move into 14th.
UP NEXT: The Eagles will return home to a rambunctious crowd at Reese Court on Jan. 24 when they host Portland State for the annual Kid's Day. Over 3,800 local elementary school students will be on deck to cheer on the Eagles for a special 11 a.m. matinee.
Eastern's home stand continues on Saturday, Jan. 26 against Sacramento State at 2 p.m.
MORE FROM COACH SCHULLER: "When everybody else stopped believing in us after a gauntlet of a non-conference schedule, we never stopped believing in each other. Today was one of those games that was indicative of what we have learned along the way. It's so hard to sweep this road trip and I am really happy for our seniors, they'll know for the rest of their lives that they did."
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