December 20, 2008

Eagles Battle Back in Second Half, Fall to Mustangs

Dec. 20, 2008

Final Stats

The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team fell behind host Cal Poly 37-24 at the half and was not able to reverse the deficit and fell to the Mustangs, 71-62, in a Saturday afternoon (Dec. 20) game.

Cal Poly took its commanding lead when the team shot at an impressive 60.0 percent clip (15-of-25) in the opening stanza. Although the Eagles responded well in the second half to hold the Mustangs to 31.6 percent shooting (6-of-19) after the break, Eastern's game average of 31.8 percent (21-of-66) was not enough for EWU to pull out the victory.

"It's a tough loss for us," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "We knew Cal Poly is a solid, good team, and they came out and shot the ball extremely well in the first half. We struggled a little shooting the ball from the field, and that didn't help our cause."

After the teams traded leads three times the initial four minutes of the contest, Cal Poly grabbed control of the game and gradually extended its lead throughout the remainder of the half, going up by as many as 14 with 20 seconds to play before the break, 37-23.

Cal Poly's advantage would go as high as 21 at 51-30 with 11:41 to play before Eastern Washington started chipping into its deficit. An immediate 13-4 run brought the Eagles (4-7) to within a dozen at 55-43 with 7:50 showing on the clock. Eastern kept at it, but getting to 62-53 with 1:21 did not allow enough time for the Eagles, as the Mustangs (7-4) proceeded to hold on for their win.

"I was pleased with our players continuing to fight and play hard, and it was disappointing to come up short," Schuller said.

Three Eagles tied for the team lead in scoring tonight with 10 points apiece: Julie Piper, Brianne Ryan and Tatjana Sparavalo. Piper also set the Eagle rebounding pace with nine, while Pauline Ferrall had eight points and eight boards today. Chene Cooper recorded three steals and had an assist in the contest.

Eastern Washington plays Cal State Northridge at 5 p.m. on Monday (Dec. 22). The Matadors are 1-10 and fell to Southern Miss, 73-68, in their most recent outing on Saturday.

"One of our goals this year is to split on the road, so it is important to turn the page pretty quickly and get ourselves prepared for Cal State Northridge and go into Christmas with that road split, and a win, and feel better about ourselves," Schuller said.

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