January 8, 2009

Eagles Hurt by Hot Shooting by Bengals

Jan. 8, 2009

Final Stats

The Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team played right with Idaho State in its first away Big Sky Conference game of the 2008-09 season until just before halftime. At that point, the Bengals finished off the initial stanza on a 5-1 run to go up by six, 35-29, and did not look back, defeating EWU by a 71-54 score in the Thursday evening (Jan. 8) contest.

Brianne Ryan had a perfect game, making all four of her shot attempts, including two from three-point territory to finish the game with 10 points. Tatjana Sparavalo also had 10 points tonight, while Pauline Ferrall led the Eagles in rebounding with seven. Jessica Huntington had three steals tonight to set the team pace in that category.

The Eagles were hurt by poor shooting in the second half, as the team made just 25.0 percent of its attempts (6-of-24) after converting 45.8 percent in the first half (11-of-24). The Bengals (5-10, 2-0 BSC) shot at a high clip throughout the contest, making 50.0 percent in the first half (10-of-20) and 55.6 after the break (15-of-27).

“Idaho State is a good defensive team and did a nice job against us, but I thought our execution was not what it needed to be,” head coach Wendy Schuller said. “We couldn’t knock down shots, especially in the second half, and that absolutely killed us. I have to give Idaho State credit for being good defensively tonight, but we also missed a lot of shots we have the ability to knock down, and our effort offensively has to be a lot better.”

Eastern Washington (7-9, 2-1 BSC) did show its prowess on the glass tonight, out-rebounding the Bengals 33-29. The Eagles also rebounded 58 percent of their missed shots, grabbing 18 offensive boards.

The teams battled tightly throughout the first half, as neither team garnered greater than a three-point lead until a 5-0 run, courtesy of a Sparavalo three and a Ferrall jumper, earned Eastern a 23-18 lead with 4:53 left in the half.

The Bengals, however, stormed right back with six straight points to go up 24-23. Their six-point edge at the break, 35-29, was the largest for either team in that stanza. Idaho State then gradually extended its advantage throughout the second half.

The Eagles finish up its brief road trip with a 1:05 p.m. Pacific Time contest on Saturday (Jan. 10) versus Weber State. The Wildcats fell at home tonight to first-place Portland State 76-63 to drop to 5-9, 0-2 in Big Sky play.

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