Eastern's Defense Leads Way in Victory

Dec. 5, 2007

Box Score

The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team snapped out of a six-game funk with a 65-53 win over the visiting Idaho Vandals on Wednesday night (Dec. 5). The Eagles held Idaho scoreless for a 5:39 span encompassing both halves and went on a 17-0 run at that point to pull away from the Vandals.

"I was really pleased with our team's effort," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "We played with a purpose. We worked a lot harder and were more focused than we have been."

The teams battled close most of the first half until the Eagles (2-6) started an incredible run with 14 seconds left. An old-fashioned three-point play by Tatjana Sparavalo gave the Eagles a four-point edge and then she had a spectacular pass to Julie Piper for a lay-up at the first-half horn to give Eastern a 40-34 halftime edge.

Once the second half got under way, the Eagles poured on the defensive pressure, not allowing Idaho (0-8) to have a made field goal until 9:22 showed on the clock, a span of 14:15 dating back to the first half (5:39 of which Idaho was held off the scoreboard completely). At that point Eastern Washington held a commanding 57-40 lead and cruised to the win from there.

"I really think the way we started the second half, getting some scores and extending the lead was key," Schuller said.

"I thought that defensively we were much more focused tonight. We got back to guarding them the good old-fashioned way we know how, and I thought our players did a nice job of that."

Katy Baker and Nicole Scott each had 13 points and nine rebounds tonight to set the Eagle pace in both categories, while Kyla Evans scored 10 points. Baker also had five assists, and Jessica Huntington contributed four.

The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Eagles.

Eastern Washington returns to action with a visit to the Rose City and a game versus the Portland Pilots (6-3) at 2 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 5). The Pilots have had a good season so far, going 2-1 against Pacific-10 Conference opposition. Portland is coming off a 67-63 loss to Big Sky Conference perennial power Montana. Saturday's game will wrap up a seven-game homestand for the Pilots.

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