Eagles Split Montana Trip, Fall to Lady Griz

Jan. 6, 2007

Final Stats

The Eastern Washington women's basketball team ran into a team on a impressive roll on Saturday night (Jan. 6), as the Eagles (6-9, 1-1 Big Sky Conference) dropped a 92-55 decision to Big Sky powerhouse Montana (14-1, 2-0 BSC), who won its 11th straight game.

 

The Eagles were not helped by their coldness from the floor, as Eastern was only able to shoot at a 20.5 percent clip (15-of-73) in the contest. That was the first time that Eastern Washington had shot below 30 percent in a game this season. The Eagles did out-rebound Montana, 52-51.

 

Schuller stated that Eastern's poor shooting percentage was a result of both Montana's impressive defensive skills and the Eagles' lack of being able to knock down open shots.

 

"Montana did a great job putting pressure on us and knowing where our shooters are," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "They are very disciplined with their zone. Tonight was the first time we had seen a zone for an extended period of time, but we also have to be able to knock shots down. We had some open looks and didn't knock the shots down.

 

"I'm obviously disappointed with the outcome, the way the game transpired, but Montana is a talented team and they came in and did a great job against us."

 

Joanna Chadd set the scoring pace for the Eagles with 12 points and was followed by Sydney Benson (9) and Tara Holgate (8). Benson set the pace in rebounds with 12, while Holgate also narrowly missed a double-double, as she finished with 10 boards.

 

Montana never relinquished its lead and the only tie came early on, at 6-6. The Lady Griz started pulling away late in the initial stanza, as a 29-20 edge with 4:58 left would became 25 by halftime, 47-22, courtesy of a dominating 18-2 run. Montana cruised in the second half, with its largest lead of 37 coming on three occasions, lastly as the final score.

 

The Lady Griz entered the day 17th in the up-to-date www.collegerpi.com rankings and were receiving votes in both the AP and the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 polls.

 

The crowd of 4,123 was by far the largest to watch an Eagle women's basketball game this season. The previous high of 1,198 came on Nov. 21, as Eastern Washington played host to Washington for the first time in 16 years, falling by just eight points, 67-59, in that contest.

 

The Eagles split the Montana trip, having defeated Montana State in clutch fashion, 69-66, on Thursday night.

 

"I am pleased to go 1-1 on this trip," Schuller said. "This is a tough trip and we played two good basketball teams. To get out of the state of Montana with at least one win is good for us. It's a long conference season and tonight was just one game. We will put this one behind us, learn from it and move on."

 

Eastern Washington now returns to the friendly confines of Reese Court and will play host to Idaho State on Thursday (Jan. 11). The Bengals (4-8) actually have not played a Big Sky game yet and will open its league slate in Cheney. Tip-off will be at 7:05 p.m.

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