The Eagles clinch the Big Sky title with a win over the Hornets

Cheney, Wash.- After tonight, there is no doubt that Eastern Washington women's basketball is the only one on top. Eastern defeated Sacramento State 72-59 on Monday night to claim the conference's regular season crown outright. The Eagles finished the regular season with a 16-2 Big Sky record and 26-5 overall this season.

„There's a lot of emotion on senior night. Our team is very tight and very cohesive. Emotions came into the game. We knew there was going to be a little bit of it, but we tried to stay calm. Made good shots,” the head coach said. Jodie Gleason said. „We felt like we were settling too much for the three, so we started trying to get to the basket or put the ball in the post. That's what we've been focusing on. You have to play well in the match. And our players don't want to share anything. To get the win and then cut the net; they have that I love getting the experience. This conference is really good. It takes a lot of toughness and now we're battle tested in every situation we've been in in the preseason or conference. [The Big Sky Tournament] It won't be easy; Every game is going to be tough.

Eastern had three players score 14 points Jalisa Lawrence, Jamie Lora And Alia Alexander. Jacinta Buckley He added 13 points and gave the team four players in double figures.

„Winning makes it that much sweeter. We know we want to come out with a win by taking it one game at a time,” Lora explained. „The team wanted to make sure we came into this game with a lot of urgency. We couldn't let go of what we were doing, and like I said, it's nice to cut the net after you win. Coach Jody always talks about 'just be us' and how it's invisible to us.” . Every play she puts on our whiteboard and we do what we do. That's how we got to where we are. We make two changes every scout. If we are who we are, the mentality, the intangibles and how hard we work, we'll be fine.”

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The Eagles got off to a fast start against the Hornets, opening with a 7-0 lead. Lawrence led the way with five rushing points. After pushing the lead to 12-3, Zach. St. organized a 6-0 run to cut Eastern's advantage. EWU found success in the paint, getting three layups in the final two minutes. They led 18-11 in the first quarter, shooting 42.1 percent.

In the second quarter, the Hornets stayed close to the Eagles and pulled within one at 18-17 with 7:58 left. From one to three Alexis Pettis And a setup by Lora gave EWU some breathing room. Lora further extended the lead and moved up to two more places. With 1:26 on the clock, Zach. The Saints had cut the lead to 30-26. Eastern converted two free throws and a fast break layup by Lawrence gave the team a 34-26 lead at halftime. The Eagles shot 35.3 percent in the quarter.

Eastern began to pull away in the third quarter, starting with a 12-2 run to build a 46-28 advantage. Buckley scored five points during the run. The Eagles picked up their shooting in the quarter, posting a 69.2 percent mark from the floor. They scored 26 points and outscored the Hornets 26-11. After three, EWU led 60-37 as Buckley scored seven points in the quarter.

Moving into the fourth quarter, East was in cruise control to shut out the Hornets. Alexander scored six points for the Eagles and the team shot 35.7 percent. Zach. The Saints led the way in the quarter, scoring 22 points on 81.8 percent shooting. The deficit was too much for the Hornets to overcome and EWU won 72-59. The team shot 44.4 percent overall.

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EWU celebrated Senior Night, Lora, Buckley, Millie Knowles And Gabriel Jung Pre game.

Gleason thought about the night and the four seniors. „Millie [Knowles] And coffee [Jung] They were here when we got here. They helped us establish the culture we really wanted. Then we brought Jacinta [Buckley] In that first year and Jamie [Loera] In the second year. We were a core group that played together for two years. Millie and Gabi have been here forever, holding it down and buying what we want to do. Culturally, that was our first goal, and we were able to add some puzzle pieces and get some good players. We're happy with how we managed to get to that point.”

Laura echoed her coaches' sentiments, saying, „This night reminds me of how much support I have. It's amazing to be so cool and so loving to be able to do it in front of my family. There's so much love everywhere. We love playing for each other, we lift each other up, we show each other up every day. No matter what's going on out there, we show up and leave it all behind. We're right there and have each other's backs. This team chemistry is so special. You're not going to get that everywhere, and it's nice to have that.”

Edit notes

  • Eastern Washington extended its winning streak to 10 games, matching the program record for longest streak it established earlier this season.
  • EWU will enter the Big Sky Tournament as the No. 1 seed for just the second time in program history. The previous top team in program history was 2009-10.
  • The Eagles had a 37 to 29 rebounding advantage. They outscored the Hornets 34-24 in the paint. Jalisa Lawrence And Alia Alexander Each had seven rebounds to lead the team. Eastern had 13 offensive rebounds while Lawrence accounted for five.
  • Jamie Lora Recorded eight assists and added three rebounds in the game.
  • EWU had 11 steals, its 12th game with 10-plus steals this season. Lora led the team with five and Lawrence with four
  • East forced 17 turnovers and scored 16 of them.

Eastern Washington begins its postseason play next Sunday (March 10) at the Big Sky Tournament in Boise, Idaho. The East will play the winner of the game between No. 9 Weber State and No. 10 Portland State.

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About Eastern Washington University Athletics

Eastern Washington University Athletics sponsors 14 intercollegiate sports, six for men and eight for women, to provide learning opportunities for its most talented students and to enhance student and community life. Eastern is affiliated with Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and is a member of the Big Sky Conference, an association of 10 regional schools with comparable enrollments and academic goals.

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