November 14, 2007

Nevada and WSU Visit Reese Court

Nov. 14, 2007

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Coming off a season-opening 63-48 victory over Montana Tech, the Eastern Washington University women's basketball team will play its second and third games of a three-game homestand against Nevada and Washington State, respectively. The game with the Wolf Pack begins at 5:35 p.m. on Thursday (Nov. 15) - it will be part of a doubleheader with the men's team, which plays UC Riverside at 7:45 p.m. - and the Eagles take on WSU at 2:05 p.m. on Sunday (Nov. 18).

The Eagles used their outstanding shooting skills in their victory over the Orediggers on Sunday (Nov. 11). Eastern shot 50.0 percent from beyond the three-point arc (10-of-20) and 91.7 percent from the free throw line (11-of-12). The Eagles used an 8-0 run late in the game to pull away to a 56-44 advantage with 3:14 remaining.

In the contest, Katy Baker hit on 4-of-6 shots from three-point range (7-of-15 overall), while Kyla Evans nailed 5-of-7 baskets, all taken from beyond the arc. Baker and Evans finished with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Other big contributers to the Eagle win were Nicole Scott (10 points, eight rebounds, two blocks), Sydney Benson (six rebounds) and Jessica Huntington (four assists).

Nevada, meanwhile is 1-1 on its young season, having defeated Santa Clara 62-51 before falling to San Diego State 67-61. Thursday's game will be Nevada's first road one of the season, as the Wolf Pack are traveling up to the Spokane area to take on EWU and Gonzaga (two days later).

The Eagles and Wolf Pack used to play regularly as Big Sky Conference foes, but have only met once in the past 15 years, a 54-51 Eastern win in Reno on Nov. 30, 2002. The Eagles are undefeated against Nevada in the five meetings to take place in Cheney. Last season, Nevada went 17-15, 10-6 in Western Athletic Conference play (good for third place), and advanced to the WNIT, where the Wolf Pack was defeated by eventual WNIT champion Wyoming in the first round, 84-56.

"Nevada is a good basketball team; they're extremely athletic and have players who can score," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "They're really going to defend and will get after us."

Washington State is 0-2, having dropped decisions to Portland (70-40) and Santa Clara (62-52). Sunday's game will also be WSU's first of the season in foreign territory.

Eastern Washington and Washington State have played regularly as of late as the two Inland Northwest foes have met each of the past five seasons on a home-and-home basis. Last year, the Cougars pulled out a 76-70 win in Pullman, while the Eagles were victorious in the last game to take place in Cheney, 57-54. The Cougars are coming off a 5-24 season, 1-17 in Pac-10 games (10th place), but will bring former Washington coach June Daugherty to Cheney for the second straight year. Last year, the Eagles kept close with UW until late, falling 67-59.

"It's a transition year for them, but I know coach Daugherty, and she is a great motivator and a great basketball coach," Schuller said. "Her players are working hard every day and they're going to come ready to play."

 

What a Shooting Performance

Eastern Washington shot lights out on Sunday (Nov. 11) from both the three-point and free throw lines in its season-opening 63-48 victory over Montana Tech. Eastern's 50.0 percent shooting from beyond the three-point arc (10-of-20) has only been surpassed twice in the past three seasons.

The Eagles, meanwhile, also shot 91.7 percent from the free throw line (11-of-12). That percentage has only been surpassed three times in the last three Eagle campaigns.

Eastern Washington is coming off an outstanding year from the free throw stripe, as the Eagles shot at a 71.2 percent clip throughout the season to set a school record in that category. Even more amazing, last year the Eagles hit on 79.5 percent of their charity tosses over the last 13 games of the season (174-of-219).

Individually, Katy Baker has made 23 consecutive free throws dating to Dec. 9, 2006, while Sydney Benson has nailed 16 in a row.

 

And the Honors Go To ...

Eastern Washington as a team was honored over the summer, being named to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Academic Top 25 Honor Roll. It marked the sixth consecutive season the Eagles had ranked 10th or higher in the rankings. That span included a No. 1 ranking in 2003-04.

 

Eagles Picked Seventh

Eastern Washington was picked seventh in both the preseason coaches poll and in the preseason media poll. The polls were nearly identical from the top down:

• 1) Montana
• 2) Idaho State
• 3) Montana State
• 4) Weber State (coaches), Northern Arizona (media)
• 5) Northern Arizona (coaches), Weber State (media)
• 6) Portland State
• 7) Eastern Washington
• 8) Sacramento State
• 9) Northern Colorado

 

54s are Wild

With Nov. 7's exhibition game between Eastern Washington and Central Washington wrapping down, the score was tied 54-54 with 54 seconds left. Then Eastern's #54 player Nicole Scott nailed the first-three point shot she had ever made in an Eagle uniform to give the Eagles a 57-54 lead with 35 seconds left that they would not relinquish.

 

Kyla's Blog - Everyone's Reading It!

Freshman guard Kyla Evans has been writing a weekly blog on her life adjusting to her first year in college and as an NCAA Division I basketball player. New blogs are posted by Tuesday each week and may be accessed on the women's basketball page at WWW.GOEAGS.COM.

 

Schuller Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Head coach Wendy Schuller talked about Eastern Washington's 63-48 win over Montana Tech on Sunday (Nov. 11), as well as the impact that Eastern's exhibition game with Central Washington (a 61-56 Eagle win) will have.

"Last week was a great week packed full of learning for us," Schuller said. "CWU presented a great challenge - they're a very good defensive team - and they exposed some weaknessees we had in terms of us taking care of the ball. We had to make some improvements in a hurry (to get ready for Montana Tech).

"Montana Tech is a good basketball team and had some local players who were going to come home (to the Spokane area) and put on a good showing, so we knew we had to take better care of the basketball, which we did. Our goal was to have eight or fewer turnovers per half and we did a good job accomplishing that goal. The other we wanted to do was shoot the ball better as a group and we really did.

"But we still have the ability to improve quite a bit from where we are. Our team has unlimited potential, but we don't want to have potential for long. We want to live up to things, so I am being a pretty demanding basketball coach right now. We have the ability to be very good defensively. Right now, we're getting half a step late to spots we need to get to. A month ago we were a step late and now we have to get to where we are right on time and pretty soon we'll be a step early."

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