CHENEY, Wash. - The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team took the lead early and never looked back, topping Northern Arizona by a score of 81-76 at Reese Court on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 23).
It was the second-straight victory for the Eagles, who made 13 three-pointers and had four in double figures for the second-straight game. Four different Eagles made three three-pointers, as the 13 scored today ties for third all-time in program history for three-point field goals in a single game.
Violet Kapri Morrow led the way with 19 points, followed by Alissa Sealby who tied her career-high with 18 points.
Grace Kirscher added 15 points and Uriah Howard had 13 while leading the team with five steals. Freshman Bella Cravens was two points short of a double-double, as she led the team with 10 rebounds and also had three blocks.
"It was a great performance for us offensively. To see four players in double figures and four players make three three-pointers is really nice. I think we have a lot of depth and we have different players that come in at different times off of the bench to give us a spark, I think it's exciting where we are offensively," said head coach Wendy Schuller. "Defensively, we did some good things in the first half but Northern Arizona made some great adjustments at the half and we came out lethargic on the defensive end. I'm pleased with the fact that we went out there are scored 80 points."
Eastern came out and took a 14-6 lead after making 5-of-7 field goals. Northern Arizona responded with a quick 5-0 run to cut the lead to 14-11. As the first quarter winded down, Grace Kirscher and Uriah Howard made back-to-back three-pointers to give the Eagles a 22-18 lead after one quarter of play. The Eagles shot 53.3 percent during the opening frame with five three-pointers.
Eastern Washington made four of its first five field goal attempts and led 30-20 in the second quarter. Northern Arizona used a 7-0 run over 56 seconds of play and cut the lead to five, 37-32. However, Kirscher would close out the second quarter on a 5-0 run of her own to give Eastern a 42-32 lead going into the locker room.
The Eagles shot 45.9 percent from the field in the first half (17-37) and 40 percent from three-point range (6-15) as both Alissa Sealby and Kirscher were in double figures with 12 points apiece after the first 20 minutes.
Northern Arizona opened the second half on a 7-0 run and cut Eastern's lead to just four points. The advantage was extended back to nine points after a Morrow three-pointer and a Bella Cravens layup. After holding the Lumberjacks scoreless for over four minutes of play, Eastern fell into an offensive lull themselves and were without any points for three minutes. Jessica McDowell-White and Kirscher gave the Eagles the spark they needed, hitting back-to-back three-pointers to give Eastern a 10-point lead with one more quarter to play.
Much like the third quarter, the Lumberjacks came out and used a 6-0 run in the fourth to diminish EWU's lead to 59-55. Another 6-0 run put NAU within two points. Uriah Howard then fired off back-to-back three-pointers and Sealby would add another to give Eastern a 72-63 lead.
The Lumberjacks refused to go away and scored six unanswered points. With just 1:40 on the clock, Eastern only led by two points, 75-73. The Eagles were then as steady as ever at the line with both Brittany Klaman and Bella Cravens making both free throw attempts to give Eastern a 79-73 lead with seconds remaining. With 10 seconds left, the Lumberjacks nailed a three-pointer to make it a three-point game. Morrow then stepped up to the line and sank both free throw attempts and that was the difference maker as the Eagles edged Northern Arizona, 81-76.
WIN-LOSS RECORDS: With the win, Eastern improves to 9-16 overall and 8-8 in Big Sky Conference play. The Eagles have now won three out of their last four, with the lone loss being a one-point deficit to Idaho on the final play.
Northern Arizona drops to 9-17 and 5-12. Eastern Washington has now won five-straight over the Lumberjacks and lead the all-time series, 39-26. The Eagles own a 24-8 overall record over NAU at Reese Court. Under head coach Wendy Schuller, Eastern is 25-12.
TOP PERFORMANCES: Violet Kapri Morrow extended her double-digit scoring streak to 26-straight games dating back to last season after leading the team with 19 points today. She made three three-point field goals, grabbed seven boards and added two assists.
Alissa Sealby also made three three-pointers and tied her career-high of 18 points while adding three assists.
Grace Kirscher had her fourth-straight game in double figures with a 15-point performance. The freshman drained three three-pointers and had two assists.
Uriah Howard was a spark offensively with 13 points, including three three-pointers, but she also was solid defensively as she led the team with five steals.
Freshman Bella Cravens had eight points and a career-high 10 rebounds with three blocks, two assists and a steal.
Seven Eagles recorded at least two assists as Jessica McDowell-White led the way with five.
KEY STATISTICS: Eastern Washington was 28-for-60 (46.7%) from the field, 13-for-30 (43.3%) from three-point range and 12-for-14 (85.7%) from the free throw line.
Northern Arizona shot 50 percent from the field on 27-for-54 from the field and were 17-for-20 from the free throw line with five three-pointers. Both teams were even with 30 rebounds apiece. Eastern's bench outscored NAU 19-to-8. The Eagles had 19 assists, three blocks and 10 steals.
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, 2019, Violet Kapri Morrow continues to climb EWU's all-time scoring list.
After scoring 19 points tonight against Northern Arizona, Morrow remains in eighth all-time with 1,238 career points. She is now just 52 points from seventh.
Additionally, Morrow is just six rebounds away from becoming the eighth player in program history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 100 assists in a career.
UP NEXT: The final regular season road trip of the year awaits Eastern Washington as they look to close out February on a strong note. The Eagles take on Sacramento State on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. before taking on Portland State on March 2 at 2 p.m. Eastern looks to avoid the season sweep after losing to both teams earlier this season at home.
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