Eagle women see their season come to an end at Big Sky tournament

Eastern Washington will not play Florida Sept. 5 after the SEC goes conference-only
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Eastern Washington Eastern Washington will not play Florida Sept. 5 after the SEC goes conference-only

BOISE, Idaho – The Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team battled until the end, but its 2019-20 season came to a close today (March 9) in the opening round of the Big Sky Conference Championships behind the hands of Portland State, 83-70.

Four scored in double figures, led by a career-high 20 points from freshman Kennedy DickieGrace Kirscher (17), Bella Cravens (14) and Jenna Dick (12), also scored in double figures, while Cravens and Dickie finished with seven rebounds each.

The Eagles made 11 three-pointers and only committed six turnovers to Portland State’s 14.

“Portland State deserves a lot of credit, they really shot the ball well today and had a good game plan. Desirae Hansen played really well and shot the ball well today. I was proud of our team and for our fight, we struggled the first quarter and just came out tight. As the game got going, we loosened up and got things going offensively,” said head coach Wendy Schuller. “It’s tough, we’re asking a lot of kids to play a lot of minutes to be able to keep their intensity and focus on the defensive end while you’re running the floor trying to make things happen. We just came up short.”

Portland State found its momentum first, using an 8-0 run to take an early 8-2 lead. Another 6-0 run from the Vikings late in the quarter gave them a 25-14 lead after the end of the high-scoring opening period. Eastern Washington was solid from the field, shooting 50 percent overall behind eight points from Grace Kirscher.

The Eagles got off to a slow start in the second quarter, as they didn’t make a field goal until the 6:18 mark as Portland State built a 35-15 lead. Eastern Washington then used six-straight points to cut their deficit to 41-28 and forced a PSU timeout. The run grew to 9-0 after the timeout and the Eagles were able to come within 10 points and trailed Portland State 42-31 at the half. Kennedy Dickie exploded for eight points during the quarter, giving herself 10 heading in to the locker room.

Both teams traded baskets early, until Portland State used an 8-0 run to pull ahead 55-35 for their largest lead of the day. That’s when Kirscher got things going, responding with a 7-0 run of her own to cut into the Viking lead, 55-42. The run sparked a 15-2 Eastern Washington run over 3:53 to put the Eagles back within single digits, 57-50. Eastern Washington shot 52.6 percent from the field (10-19), outscoring the Vikings 23-19, to trail just 61-54 heading into the final quarter.

With 6:34 on the clock and down 66-58, Dickie made a three-pointer to put the Eagles within five points, 66-61. Portland State’s lead stretched back out to 10 with 4:32 left, but Dickie was there again, draining another three-pointer to make it a 73-68 score with 3:41 left in favor of the Vikings. But that would wind up being the final field goal of the contest for Eastern Washington, as PSU outscored EWU 12-2 in the final minutes en route to the 83-70 victory.