Cheney Free Press -

By JOHN McCALLUM
Managing Editor 

Eagle women searching for first season win

 

Last updated 12/17/2020 at 4:21pm



CHENEY – The Eastern Washington women are still looking for their first victory of the season on the hardwood after losses to Boise State and Grand Canyon University. The Eagles fell 84-64 to the Broncos of the Mountain West Conference on the road Dec. 10 and came up short, 84-78, to the Lopes of the Western Athletic Conference on Monday, Dec. 14.

Eastern committed 18 of their 26 total turnovers in the first half Monday, leading to 22 Lopes points. Three-point shooting kept the Eagles in the game — with all 15 of their points in the first quarter coming from behind the arc — but they still found themselves trailing 47-37 at the break, victimized by 11 turnovers in the second quarter.

Back-to-back 3s by Jenna Dick pulled EWU with six early in the third at 49-53, and were within five points at 57-52 moments later off a 3 by reserve Kallie Shaplow. Despite holding Grand Canyon to just 35.7 percent (5-14) from the field and outscoring them 17-14 in the third, the Lopes held on to a 61-54 lead entering the fourth.

Grand Canyon maintained its margin throughout the fourth, and after seeing Eastern cut it to six at 78-72 with less than a minute left, the Lopes went a perfect 6-for-6 at the foul line to seal the win.

Eastern Washington had five players score in double figures, led by Jenna Dick with 17 points in her first start of the season — 11 coming in the fourth quarter on 4 for 4 shooting. Alexyss Newman followed with a career-best 16, leading the team in rebounds with nine, while freshman Aaliyah Alexander contributed 15. Kennedy Dickie and Grace Kirscher rounded out the scoring with 11 points each.

Eastern Washington out-rebounded the Lopes, 38 – 28. Grand Canyon out-scored Eastern in the paint, 36 – 14, as the Lopes shot 47.3 percent (26-55) from the field.

EWU shot 44.9 percent on the night, making 22 of 49 field goal attempts. Fourteen of their 22 made attempts were 3-pointers, as they shot 41.2 percent from behind the arc. At the free throw line, EWU was 20-for-30.

“It was a brutal first half, you can’t turn the ball over 18 times,” head coach Wendy Schuller said. “The second half, we were more willing and took a lot better care of the basketball, but it would be nice to put two halves together.”

Saturday the Broncos scored the first eight points of the game en route to a 19-11 first quarter lead over the visiting Eagles. A 7-0 run to open the second put Boise up by double digits, 26-11, before Alexander led an 8-0 EWU run with five points to pull within 30-22. The Broncos outscored EWU 12-4 the rest of the quarter to take a 42-26 halftime lead.

The Eagles fell behind 51-31 in the third quarter, but refused to go away. Despite trailing 61-44 at the end of the third, Eastern Washington was only outscored 19 – 18 and made 50 percent of its field goal attempts while holding the Broncos 40 percent. 

Eastern Washington was steady offensively in the fourth quarter as well, going 7-for-15 from the field with four 3-pointers. Led by Dickie (8 points) and Burnham (7 points), the Eagles were only outscored by the Broncos 23-20 in the fourth, but the deficit was too much to overcome.

“I was encouraged by our ability to adjust at halftime and find ways to score in the second half,” Schuller said. “We saw some exciting things from young players and I love the heart of this team.”

Dickie led the Eagles with a season-high 16 points, going 5-for-10 from the field and perfect from 3-point range (2-2) and the free throw line (4-4). Freshman Maisie Burnham scored 12 points off of the bench in just her second career game as an Eagle. She was 4-for-7 from the field with four rebounds, two steals and a block.

Eastern Washington shot 42.1 percent from the field (24-57). They were 8-for-16 from 3-point range and made 8-of-10 free throw attempts.

Eastern drops to 0-4 on the season, 0-2 in Big Sky Conference play. The Eagles host Seattle in their final home non-conference game this Saturday, Dec. 19. Tip-off is set or 2:05 p.m. on Pluto TV Channel 1053.

John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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