Eagles Make Official 2010-11 Debut at Home Against Familiar Foes
With an exhibition victory under its belt, Eastern officially begins quest for another unforgettable season
EWU vs. Cal State Fullerton
Friday, Nov. 12 - 7:30 p.m.
Reese Court (6,000) - Cheney Wash.
EWU vs. Portland
Sunday, Nov. 14 - 2:05 p.m.
Reese Court (6,000) - Cheney, Wash.
Webcasts (All home games and all Big Sky Conference games): http://www.bigskytv.org
Live Stats: http://web.ewu.edu/groups/athletics/wbasketball/wblivestats/xlive.htm
The Eastern Washington University women's basketball will officially begin its 2010-11 campaign with two home games at Reese Court on Friday (Nov. 12) at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday (Nov. 14) at 2:05 p.m. The Eagles will play the Titans of Cal State Fullerton in the first matchup of the weekend, followed by a showdown with the familiar Portland Pilots. Friday's game will be the second part of the doubleheader with the men's basketball team, which takes on San Jose State at 5:35 p.m. on Reese Court.
"Having these two teams come to our place right off the bat is going to give us a great gauge of where we are early in the season," said EWU head coach Wendy Schuller, who is in her 10th year at the helm of the program. "They are both very good teams, who we had competitive matches with last season."
Eastern opened its 2009-10 campaign against the Pilots, and then played the Titans just before the start of Big Sky action last year. EWU topped UP by a score of 72-64, behind strong performances by returners Brianne Ryan and Tatjana Sparavalo. The Eagles were not as lucky against Cal State Fullerton, as the Titans narrowly defeated EWU, 58-55.
The Titans return four of the starters from its 2009-10 squad that went 15-17 on the year. Including last year's matchup, Eastern and Cal State Fullerton have met five times in history, with EWU holding a slight 3-2 edge in the series. Eastern is undefeated (2-0) against the Titans when playing on Reese Court.
"They [Cal State Fullerton] plays extremely hard," said Schuller. "They are very well coached and have two young ladies in particular [junior Megan Richardson and senior Lyndsey Grove] who know how to score and can make things happen."
Portland will also present an experienced lineup, as it too returns four starters from its 2009-10 squad. With exception of the 1995-96 and 2003-04 seasons, Eastern and UP have met at least once every year for the past 22 years. The Eagles hold a 13-8 edge in the all-time series, including a 9-3 advantage in games played in Cheney. Although Eastern was the victor in the most recent meeting between the two schools in 2009, Portland had won the three previous matchups.
"Portland also has a bunch of kids back from a team that was really good a season ago," said Schuller. "Jim [Sollars] is a great coach and he will certainly have them fired up. They really push the ball, and pressure defensively. So, we absolutely have to handle the ball."
"Actually, both teams are going to get after us on defensive end of the floor," added Schuller. "Fullerton will pick us up in a man-to-man full-court press, so we must take care of the basketball. We have to make good decisions and take good shots, and we can't turn it over."
Exhibition Recap: Eagles Fly By Simon Fraser, 76-63
The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team opened its 2010-11 season with a 76-63 exhibition victory against Simon Fraser on Sunday (Nov. 7) at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. Reigning Big Sky Co-Defensive Player of the Year Brianne Ryan paced the Eagles with 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 from the free throw line. Ryan, a native of Lynden, Wash., also had a team-leading seven boards, as well as four steals and two assists. Seniors Kyla Evans and Julie Piper also eclipsed double digits, as Evans tallied 11 points and Piper chipped in 10. The Eagles did a nice job of disrupting the Clan's offense, as the home team forced 27 turnovers. The Eagles turned the 27 miscues in to 27 points. Junior Chene Cooper had a major role in that statistic, as she had four steals and six points for the Eags. She also contributed five assists. Each of EWU's five freshmen saw action in the contest, combining for 16 of Eastern's 34 total points from the bench.
Eagle News & Notes
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.
Bringing Back the Blog
Eastern Washington women's basketball senior, Kyla Evans, is "bringing back the blog." As a freshman in 2007, Evans provided a blog for readers of www.goeags.com. Now, as a senior captain on the EWU squad, Evans will return to her role as the public voice of EWU women's basketball. Every two weeks, she will provide commentary on the happenings of the squad, as they strive for another memorable season! Check back bi-monthly to the women's basketball page on www.goeags.com to follow Kyla and her creative contributions.
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 games last year. She has started 82 of those 89 contests. 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).
Streaks to Remember
In 2009, Julie Piper had a streak of eight-straight double-digit scoring games (Jan. 30 – Feb. 26), which was tied for the fifth-best run in the Big Sky. As a team, the Eagles had a seven-game winning streak from Dec. 31 – Jan. 23, which was the longest streak for the Eagles since the 2002-03 season, when the team won seven in a row from Dec. 4 – Jan. 2... Notable "Non-Streak" ...Last season, not a single player led in scoring for more than two games in a row. Eastern should enjoy a balanced offense this season as well, as all but one of those leaders is retuning for the 2010-11 campaign.
Evan's Unparalleled Work on the Perimeter
Heading into the 2010-11 season, Kyla Evans is the only active player in the Big Sky who has 150+ career three-pointers. She is also the only current Eagle who appears in the Big Sky record book, as she is 20th in career three pointers (170), tied for ninth in career three-point field goal percentage (.390), and third overall in Big Sky history in career three-point field average (2.27 per game). In addition to her dominance with the conference, she is fourth in the Eastern record book for career three pointers made (170) and attempted (436), and owns the school record for three-point field goal percentage (.390). She is also among the top five in EWU's single-season record book in those same three categories, all of which were accomplished in 2009-10.