Eagles fall with fourth quarter woes

EWU loses its season opener against Gonzaga


Bailey Monteith

Sophomore guard Brittany Klaman goes in for a layup against Gonzaga on Sunday. Klaman finished the game with four points.

By Drew Lawson, Reporter

Jessica McDowell-White hit four 3-pointers and grabbed nine rebounds in her EWU debut, but it wasn’t enough as the Eagles fell 63-51 in their season opener against Gonzaga.

“It’s not where we want to be,” head coach Wendy Schuller said. “We saw some good things from us, especially on the defensive end, but we still had a lot of breakdowns and things we know we can get better at.”

EWU started the game with a stingy defensive effort, leading 12-5 at the end of the first quarter. Gonzaga shot just 15.4 percent in the period. McDowell-White hit two 3-pointers in the quarter to pace the Eagles.

“When I hit those shots, the atmosphere was electrifying,” McDowell-White said. “You’re sort of in rhythm, in the flow of the offense.”

Gonzaga bounced back in the second quarter, outscoring EWU 22-11 to take a 27-23 lead into halftime. Both teams struggled from the field in the half, with EWU shooting 28.0 percent and Gonzaga 28.6 percent.

The third quarter was the most efficient offensively for EWU. Senior Violet Kapri Morrow scored 10 points in the period as the Eagles shot 8-19 from the field and knocked down a trio of 3-pointers. The 19 points in the quarter was the highest total of any quarter in the game.

“I think we were attacking a little more offensively,” Schuller said. “We were moving the ball, we were sharp, we were crisp, we were sure about what we were doing.”

The fourth quarter saw a heightened level of defensive intensity from Gonzaga. EWU managed just nine points in the quarter and turned the ball over six times while Gonzaga scored 18 to pull away.

Turnovers plagued EWU all game, as the Eagles coughed the ball up 24 times. Schuller said Gonzaga’s defense deserved credit for the offensive struggles.

“You have to give them credit,” Schuller said. “They did a great job of turning the heat up on us. When that happens, you can either turn it over or you can make them pay. We just didn’t do a very good job of making them pay for turning the pressure up.”

Morrow led EWU with a double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 boards. McDowell-White contributed 12 points and nine rebounds. Alissa Sealby came close to a double-double, scoring nine points and pulling down nine rebounds.

Chandler Smith led Gonzaga with 20 points and four rebounds. Laura Stockton added 13 points, six rebounds and five assists.

EWU is back in action on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at Reese Court against Eastern Oregon. Tip-off is at 6:05 p.m. and admission is free for students.