Senior Kyla Evans breaks EWU's all-time career three point record with five treys against Redhawks
After being sidelined for more than three weeks due to injury, senior Kyla Evans made her return to the Eastern lineup on Tuesday (Feb. 8), and she did it with a record-breaking performance. The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team fell to Seattle 74-53, but Evans hit five three pointers in the game to break the EWU school record for career three pointers made.
Evans, who now has 197 treys in her career, had been just three three pointers away from the record for more than a month. But when a chronic back injury flared up just before the start of conference play, she was forced to sit the last 10 games. The untimely hiatus didn't seem to affect the senior though, as she turned in the best performance of her season in her first game back.
Evans finally surpassed Stephanie Ulmer, who owned the previous record of 195 career three pointers made. Ulmer played for head coach Wendy Schuller from 2002-05.
"I am very happy for Kyla," said Schuller. "She has been through a lot in her career, and is certainly deserving of the honor. I'm glad she is able to leave her mark at Eastern."
"Unfortunately though, the record was a little tainted, as it came in the midst of a very ugly game for us," admitted Schuller. "We know Kyla cares more about this team than her individual accolades, so it was hard to get too excited after losing a game like that."
Eastern made only 7-of-28 (.250) shots in the first half against Seattle, including just 1-of-13 from long range. The Redhawks forced 17 turnovers, and had a 20-8 advantage in points in the paint. SU out-scored the Eagles 32-17 in the first frame, with 16 of those points coming directly off EWU's miscues.
"Seattle did a good job of making us take tough shots, but we did nothing to respond," said Schuller.
Although Eastern's shooting did improve in the second half to 43 percent, including six made baskets from beyond the arc, the Redhawks had an even better second stanza, as they converted 13-of-24 (.542) shots from the field.
Four of Eastern's six three pointers in the second half came off the hot hand of Evans. She finished the game with team-leading 15 points.
Junior Brianne Ryan extended her double-digit scoring streak to 11 games, as she had 12 points against the Redhawks and a team-leading seven rebounds. However, Ryan struggled to take care of the basketball at the Connolly Center, committing seven turnovers for EWU.
As a team, the Eagles had a season-high 28 turnovers, which SU converted into 29 points.
"It was downright ugly," said Schuller. "We know it is hard to get motivated for these games when we're in the heart of conference play and so focused on the Big Sky, but we should feel fortunate to be playing in any game we can, and we need to put our best foot forward every time we step on the court. There were times we had a good effort tonight, but the bottom line is, we did not play good basketball."
The Eagles will return to action this Saturday (Feb. 12) when they travel to Weber State to take on the Wildcats for the first time this season. Tipoff from the Dee Events Center in scheduled for 6 p.m. Pacific time.