Paced by Julie Piper's double-double, the first-place Eagles get past the Bobcats and look to showdown with Montana on Saturday
The Montana State Bobcats fought until the end, but the Big Sky Conference first-place Eastern Washington University women's basketball team proved too much as the Eagles defeated the Bobcats 71-64 Thursday (Feb. 11) in a conference contest at Worthington Arena in Bozeman, Mont.
The Eagles shot lights out in the first half, shooting 47 percent to build a 38-29 lead heading into halftime. Julie Piper scored five points and had seven rebounds in the first half, including four offensive rebounds.
The Bobcats went on an 8-0 run during the first five minutes of the second half, and took the lead at the 11:24 mark 43-40. Eastern regained the lead with 2:03 remaining on a jump shot by Piper and went on to win the game.
Piper finished the game with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Nicole Scott scored a team-high 13 points in the contest and contributed seven rebounds. Brianne Ryan chipped in 10 points and six rebounds, and Tatjana Sparavalo added 12 points in just 16 minutes of action off the bench.
The Eagles, now 15-8 overall and 8-2 in the Big Sky, will face the second-place Montana Grizzlies Saturday (Feb. 13) in Missoula, Mont., in a showdown of the top teams in the Big Sky. Tip-off is set for 6:05 p.m. Pacific time.
In their first meeting this season against Montana, the Eagles won an overtime nail-bitter 67-64 at Reese Court. The win on Jan. 8 broke a seven-game losing streak to the Grizzlies.
Eastern finished the game shooting 41 percent from the field and was 6-for-16 from the three-point line. The Eagles committed 21 turnovers in the contest but held the Bobcats to 37 percent from the field, including just 3-of-20 from behind the arc. The Eagles out-rebounded the Bobcats 48-39.