Eagles Battle with Montana, Falter in Second Half

Feb. 3, 2007

Final Stats

The host Eastern Washington University women's basketball team held tough with the Montana Lady Griz on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 3), trailing by just three, 46-43, with 10:08 remaining in the second half before Montana pulled away for a 71-53 victory.


Montana held a lead (or the game was tied) throughout the contest, although Eastern Washington (7-16, 2-8 BSC) stayed right with the Lady Griz, who won their 20th game of the season today (20-2, 8-1 BSC), for the majority of the contest.


In the middle of the opening stanza, Montana took a trio of eight-point leads, but a 9-2 Eagle run would tie the contest, 27-27. At that point, the Lady Griz ran off eight straight points to go up, 35-27, with 19:27 remaining in the contest, but EWU rallied with a 6-0 run to pull within two, 35-33.


Montana would extend its advantage to eight once again, 46-38, but Eastern responded with five straight points to pull within three, 46-43.


At that point, Eastern had a couple players in foul trouble with four each, Scott and Phynique Allen, and Montana was able to capitalize to go up by 15 points, 60-45, by virtue of a 14-2 run and was able to cruise to its victory from there.


Three of the Eagles scored in double figures today, including Nicole Scott (12), Sydney Benson (10) and Katy Baker (10). The rebounding edge for Eastern was held by both Benson and Scott, who grabbed seven boards apiece. Baker led the team in assists with four, while Benson contributed a pair of blocks to Eastern's effort.


"Our offense has to run better against a 2-3 zone than we did tonight, especially when we were only 3-of-15 from three," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "We needed to attack the rim and we just didn't do that tonight. Most teams salivate when they see a 2-3 zone and try their best to bust it up with threes. I remember when I was a player, I loved playing against a 2-3 zone because I knew I would be able to take a lot of shots. We just don't have that kind of kid that wants the ball and is dying to hit the big shots."


Montana has now won 20 games in five straight years. The Lady Griz placed first on the "others receiving votes" list of this week's USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top 25 poll.


The Eagles now will see its schedule ease up a bit, as Eastern will play just two games between now and Feb. 21. Eastern Washington plays at Weber State (13-9, 8-1 BSC) at 6:05 p.m. PT on Thursday (Feb. 8). The Wildcats play at Northern Arizona tonight. Eastern's next home game will be versus Portland State at 7:05 p.m. on Feb. 15.

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