Eagles Move to Title Game, Play Georgia
Nov. 28, 2008
The Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team earned an impressive road victory in its opening contest at the Lady Rebel Round-Up, defeating the host UNLV squad in a dramatic contest, 70-69 in overtime. The Eagles now move on to face Georgia in the tournament’s title contest at 2 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 28).
The Eagles possessed control for the majority of the first half. The stat of the half, however, was points off turnovers, as Eastern held a dominating 16-0 advantage in that category (would end up 22-7). An early 5-2 UNLV lead would be its largest one of the game, and the Eagles responded to that early deficit with an impressive 8-0 run. Brianne Ryan had four of those eight points.
The Rebels then scored the next six points to go up 11-10 with 12:33 to play. That would be their last advantage of the half. Eastern then utilized a 10-2 spurt to take a 20-13 advantage. Tatjana Sparavalo had a pair of threes for six of those 10 points. Eastern’s largest lead of the half came with 3:48 to play at 26-17.
After the halftime break, EWU immediately jumped out to a 10-point advantage at 30-20 when Nicole Scott nailed a three with 19:16 showing on the clock. Another trey a few minutes later by Jessica Huntington earned the Eagles a 35-24 edge with 16:39 to play, its largest of the day.
UNLV, however, gradually cut into Eastern Washington’s lead and would tie the contest at 62 with just 56 ticks showing on the scoreboard. Neither team scored again, and the teams headed to overtime in Eastern’s initial overtime contest since a 103-102 loss to Gonzaga on Dec. 9, 2006.
In the extra period, the teams combined for three lead changes and neither team went up by more than three tallies. Eastern was down 67-64 with 2:39 to play but responded impressively with six straight points. The six points were scored by Scott, Amy Bratvold and Julie Piper with two apiece.
A pair of UNLV free throws with 37 seconds left cut EWU’s advantage to 70-69. Eastern ran the shot clock down before missing a shot. The Rebels grabbed the defensive rebound with five seconds left and missed a lay-up at the buzzer.
Scott had a solid all-around game for the Eagles, contributing 13 points, a team-leading 10 rebounds and four blocks. Leading Eastern in scoring today was Tatjana Sparavalo with 15 points. Three other Eagles also had double-digit point totals: Piper (13), Ryan (11) and Bratvold (10). Huntington had seven assists in the game.
The win was Eastern’s first on the road since a 66-63 victory at Sacramento State on Feb. 24, 2007, snapping a 14-game losing streak in road contests.