Eastern rallies from 12-point deficit in the second half to down Idaho 54-51
The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team forced 26 Idaho turnovers, but the Eagles had to rally from a 12-point second-half deficit to beat the Vandals 54-51 Thursday (Nov. 19) at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.
Eastern improved to 2-1 following its first regular season home game of the season, while Idaho slipped to 0-2. On Saturday (Nov. 21), Eastern will welcome Corban College to Reese Court for a 2:05 p.m. tipoff.
"I am proud of our effort tonight," said Eastern head coach Wendy Schuller. "I thought that we were resilient -- things did not always go our way. We just battled and fought.
"Defensively we did a fabulous job for 45 minutes," she added. "We really worked hard on that end. We had a great game plan, a great scout, and the girls really stuck to it. They did what the plan was and did their jobs."
Tatjana Sparavalo led the Eagles with 17 points, including 14 after halftime when Eastern led 17-15. Julie Piper and Kyla Evans chipped in 14 points apiece, with Evans making 5-of-6 field goals and a game-tying field goal with 48 seconds left to help send the game to overtime.
Piper added a double-double as she also had 11 rebounds to help Eastern to a 43-all tie in rebounding. Chene Cooper added five assists and Breauna Russell had five steals, with Brianne Ryan adding four thefts.
Eastern finished the game making just 30.4 percent of its shots, but Idaho wasn't much better at 32 percent. The Eagles made only 21 percent in the first half compared to 23 percent for UI.
Idaho used a 17-2 run in the second half to turn a five-point Eastern lead into a 10-point advantage for the Vandals. After Idaho bumped the lead to 12 with 6:39 left, Eastern rallied with a 14-2 run, capped by the three-pointer by Evans.
In overtime, Eastern made six-straight free throws to take a 52-51 lead with 1:43 left, and Piper's basket with 52 seconds left provided the final margin.