Eagles Set to Play Oregon State in Final Game Before Holiday Break
EWU vs. Oregon State
Tuesday, Dec. 21 - 7 p.m.
Gill Coliseum - Corvallis, Ore.
With only two games remaining before the start of Big Sky play, the Eastern Washington University women's basketball team is in hot pursuit of its first road win of the 2010-11 season. Five of Eastern's first seven conference games are on the road, so the team is anxious to get that monkey off its back. The Eagles will have one more chance to do so when they play Oregon State in Corvallis on Tuesday (Dec. 21). Tipoff from the Gill Coliseum in scheduled for 7 p.m.
Eastern will then return home to face Willamette on Dec. 30 and Portland State on Jan. 8 in the first game of the Big Sky season.
The Eagles split a pair of games last week, beating UC Irvine 75-67 in Cheney, before falling to San Diego 72-61 in a closely-contested road game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. As a team, the Eagles have shot 46 percent from the field in their last three games, compared to the 35 percent shooting they recorded in the first seven games of the season. Seniors Tatjana Sparavalo and Julie Piper, and junior Chene Cooper have all averaged more than 14 points on a combined .573 field goal percentage in the last three games. The Eagles have also out-rebounded its most recent opponents 110-101.
Eastern hopes the trend continues when they face Oregon State of the powerful Pac-10 Conference on Tuesday. The Beavers are 6-4 this season, which includes a 62-55 win over Big Sky foe Weber State on Dec. 14. The Beavers lost their most recent contest, falling 62-61 at Southern Utah.
OSU has two players who possess double-figure scoring averages, including freshman guard Alyssa Martin (15.7) and senior forward Sara El Greer (10.2). El Greer is also OSU's top rebounder with 8.3 caroms per contest, while her field goal percentage of .551 is also the top mark on the team.
Eastern is 3-5 all-time against the Beavers, but the two teams have not met since 1998, when OSU romped past the Eags, 100-54 in Corvallis. This season, the Beavers are 2-1 when playing in Gill Coliseum.
EWU/OSU All-Time Series Results
1977 W 60-58 H
1980 L 35-79 H
1981 L 38-90 A
1982 W 57-48 H
1986 W 81-61 H
1990 L 60-82 A
1993 L 51-82 A
1998 L 54-100 A
Eagle Fast Breaks
- Eastern has four players who are averaging 10 or more points per game after the first 10 games of the season. Tatjana Sparavalo leads the way with 11.9, while Julie Piper, Chene Cooper and Brianne Ryan follow at 11.8, 10.6 and 10.2, respectively.
- Piper and Sparavalo, as well as sophomore Carrie Ojeda, are also averaging at least five rebounds per game. All three players rank among the top 20 in rebounding in the Big Sky Conference.
- Junior Chene Cooper has dished out a team-leading 56 assists thus far in the 2010-11 campaign. Her average of 5.6 dimes per game ranks second in the Big Sky and 23rd in the nation. Her assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.9 (56-30) is the top mark in the BSC, while also ranking in the top 50 in Division I women's basketball.
- As a team, the Eagles lead the Big Sky in offensive rebounding at 16.3 per game. Eastern is eighth, however, in defensive rebounds with a 22.1 average. The team has five players who rank in the top 15 in offensive boards. Although this statistic is linked to a less than favorable field goal percentage of .382 (249-652), the team is at least giving itself ample opportunity for second-chance points.
- The Eagles have a similar dichotomy in terms of scoring offense and scoring defense. Eastern's offensive output of 66.5 points per game ranks second in the Big Sky, but the team is eighth in the league in scoring defense, allowing opponents an average of 72.1 points per game.
- The Eagles have impressed with their ability to take care of the basketball in the first 10 games of the season, ranking fourth in the Big Sky, ranking first in assist-to-turnover ratio at 0.8 (109-133), and fourth turnover margin at +0.2. As a team, Eastern averages 16.6 turnovers per game, which ranks 55th in the nation, while its assist-to-turnover ratio is also in the top 75 of all teams in Division I women's basketball.
Eagle News & Notes
Three players on the 2010-11 roster will be returning to their home state when Eastern plays Oregon State on Tuesday (Dec. 21). Reigning Big Sky MVP Julie Piper is a native of Roseburg, Ore., and graduated from Roseburg HS in 2007. Freshman Aubrey Ashenfelter came to Eastern from the Portland area, after graduating from Southridge HS in 2010. Meaghan Cichoke, who is redshirting the 2010-11 season, is a 2010 graduate of Tualatin HS in Tigard, Ore.
Coop Hits Career Marks in Back-to-Back Games
Junior Chene Cooper had a career night in Eastern's 75-67 win over UC Irvine on Dec. 15. The five-foot point guard scored 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting, and pulled down a team-leading 10 rebounds in the contest. Her previous career highs were 23 points and eight rebounds. This performance came one game after she set another career high in assists. In Eastern's 73-44 victory over Saint Martin's on Dec. 11, she had an astounding 12 dimes, which is the best single-game assist performance for any player in the Big Sky this season. Her previous career high in that category was seven.
Sparavalo Sizzles Off the Bench
Senior Tatjana Sparavalo has scored in double figures in seven of Eastern's 10 games, including the last four in a row. She is currently Eastern's leading scorer with 11.9 points per game, which she has earned in her 196 minutes off the bench. She recorded two double-doubles in the first two weeks of year, with 16 points and 10 rebounds against Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 12) and 21 points and 10 rebounds in EWU's narrow loss to Boise State (Nov. 20). In Eastern's most recent outing against San Diego, Sparavalo led the team with 17 points, which included four three pointers. Her three-point field goal percentage of .465 (20-43) ranks in the top 20 in the nation, and first in the Big Sky Conference.
Senior Julie Piper has not missed a single game since the first time she stepped on the court as a freshman in 2007. She played in all 29 games during her rookie season, all 29 as a sophomore in 2008-09 and all 31 last year, as well as all 10 of the current season. She has started 92 of those 99 games. Besides her consistent court presence, Piper has scored at least two points in every game since Feb. 14, 2009 (0 vs. ISU), and has had at least three rebounds in every game since Nov. 28. 2008 (2 vs. UNLV). This season, Piper has had six double-digit scoring outings, and two of 20 or more points.
Coop Climbing the Charts
Just a junior, Chene Cooper has already cracked the top 10 list in one category of the EWU career record book, and she is quickly closing in on another. Cooper has 124 total steals thus far in her career, which ranks seventh in the EWU record book. Fifty-seven of those steals came last season, which is the seventh-best single-season performance in Eastern history. With 215 total assists in her career, she is only 25 away from the top 10 in that category, which is certainly a feasible goal as she has already tallied 54 in the first 10 games.
Evans Dominates from Downtown
With 19 treys already this season, senior Kyla Evans is now second in the Eastern record book for career three pointers made. She now has 189 in her tenure, and is just six away from nabbing the record outright. She is also the only active player in the Big Sky who has 150+ career three-pointers and the only current Eagle who appears in the Big Sky record book, as she is eighth in career three pointers (189) and tied for 19th in career three-point field goal percentage (.381).
Seven in Row for Ryan
Prior to Eastern's game against Saint Martin's, in which she scored just five points, junior Brianne Ryan had scored in double figures in seven-consecutive outings. Ryan is one of only two players in the Big Sky to have a double-digit scoring streak of seven or more games. Her season high of 13 tallies came against Idaho, when she shot 4-of-8 from the field, including 2-of-3 from long range.
Freshman Aubrey Ashenfelter has seen minutes in every game of the 2010-11 season. As Eastern's backup point guard, she averages 12.0 minutes per game. A product of Southridge High School in Portland, Ore., Ashenfelter has scored 22 points for Eastern and dished out 12 assists. Freshman Laura Hughes, who came to Eastern from Richland, Wash., has also been an important player off the bench this season. Hughes provides depth in the post, averaging 2.3 rebounds per game and 2.9 points. She played a season-high 22 minutes against national-powerhouse Gonzaga on Dec. 3.
Piper Named to Omni Hotels Classic All-Tournament Team
Senior forward Julie Piper was selected as one of five standout players for the 24th Annual Omni Hotels Classic All-Tournament Team. Piper averaged 15.0 points per game in the two games played in Boulder, Colo., on Nov. 26 and 27. She shot an impressive 52 percent from the field and was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line. With those eight made free throws over the weekend, she moved into the top 10 in the Eastern record book for career free throws made. She now has 207 in her tenure. Piper registered her first double-double of the season against the Ramblers with 20 points and 13 rebounds. She was 7-of-15 from the field, and knocked down all six of her attempts from the charity stripe. She also scored in double digits against the Purple Aces, tallying 10 points of 4-of-6 shooting. Although her time on the floor was limited due to foul trouble, she added six rebounds and two steals in just 15 minutes.
Current Eagle Brianne Ryan is the daughter of one of the all-time greats in the Eastern Washington Women's Basketball program, Neil Ryan (formerly Neil Ann Massie). Neil Ryan played basketball for EWU from 1979-82, and is the third-leading rebounder in school history with 1,008 career rebounds. Her career rebounding average of 8.47 ranks fourth in the EWU record book, while her 346 rebounds in the 1979 season is the fourth-best single season performance in program history. She is also one of the all-time leading scorers, as her 1,190 career points ranks seventh overall in the EWU record book. She ranks sixth in career field goals made (509) and tenth in field goals attempted (1,001). EWU's relationship with the Ryan family does not stop there. Head coach Wendy Schuller recently signed Brianne's younger sister and Neil's youngest daughter, Kayleigh, to a national letter of intent to play basketball at Eastern starting in the 2011-12 school year.
Piper Selected as Candidate for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
EWU senior forward Julie Piper was selected as one of 30 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. The 2011 women's candidate class includes five players who were CoSIDA Academic All-Americans last year, 22 student-athletes with grade point averages of 3.0 or better, four players who participated in the 2010 Women's Final Four and 15 players on the preseason watch list for the John R. Wooden Award. The candidate class will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
Eagles Sign Four for 2011-12 Season
Four high school seniors from the state of Washington have signed national letters of intent to play basketball at Eastern Washington University. The members of the 2011 recruiting class include 5-foot-1 point guard Kylie Huerta from Kentwood High School, 5-11 guard Kayleigh Ryan from Lynden Christian High School, 6-0 forward Melissa Williams from Camas High School in Vancouver and 5-10 shooting guard Hayley Hodgins from Chiawana High School in Pasco. Huerta was ranked among the top 110 point guards in the nation according to ESPN Hoopgurlz.com, and earned South Puget Sound League North Division Co-MVP honors in 2010 after leading the league in points per game (18.9) and steals (57). Ryan, sister of current Eagle, Brianne Ryan, is a dual-sport athlete, earning letters in basketball and volleyball at Lynden Christian. As a junior on the basketball team, she averaged nine points, eight rebounds and 4.7 assists per game for the Lyncs. Williams was selected as the 2010 Greater St. Helen's League Player of the Year and the Columbian's All-Region Player of the Year. She led her team to the Class 3A District Championship in 2010, averaging 16 points per game throughout the year. Hodgins was a member of the Columbia Basin Big Nine Cascaded Division first-team in 2010 and was twice named the Tri-City Herald Athlete of the Week. Hodgins was the league's leading scorer during her junior year, averaging 18.4 points per game. She shot 46 percent from three-point range, which was also the best in the league.