November 21, 2006

Eagle Women's Basketball Holds Tough with Washington

Nov. 21, 2006

Final Stats

The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team battled with its in-state rival Washington to the end on Tuesday night (Nov. 21) before falling to the Huskies, 67-59. The Eagles were down by just two with 5:08 left (54-52) and four with 1:49 remaining (62-58) in the team's first match-up in Cheney in 16 years.

"I was very proud of our effort," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "We played extremely hard for 40 minutes and that's our No. 1 goal every time we step out on the floor."

The Eagles saw Sydney Benson contribute a double-double to their cause with 12 points, a career high, and 10 rebounds. She also earned EWU's three blocks on the night. Phynique Allen was Eastern's leading scorer with 14 points.

"I am pleased that our kids are doing a lot of growing up," Schuller said. " Sydney had 12 and 10 and gave everything she had; she battled. Tara Holgate gave good minutes as did Nicole Scott. I am proud of our young big kids; they took it to them.

"The three things we need to do in order to take the step to the next level is to get better at rebounding and boxing out, making baskets - tonight, we got to the rim and made things happen but could not finish - and our free throw shooting needs to get better - 62 percent from the line at home is not good enough to win. If we do those things better, I feel very good about our team and what we are capable of doing."

Washington immediately took control of the contest right from the tip, going up by a 12-2 margin and would extend its lead to 15 on two occasions: 35-20 and 38-23. At that point, Eastern Washington went on a 17-4 spurt to tie the contest at 42-all 11:29 remaining in the contest with a Ashley Knight lay-up. Even though Washington's lead never got above six the rest of the way, Eastern was not able to break through against the 2005-06 NCAA Tournament team and take its own lead.

Eastern Washington now heads to San Antonio, Texas, to take part in the UTSA Thanksgiving Classic. The Eagles play host Texas-San Antonio (0-4) at 5 p.m. PT on Friday (Nov. 24) before battling its only ranked opponent of 2006-07 (based on current polls), No. 9 LSU (5-1), at noon on Saturday (Nov. 25).

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