Vandals’ Pierce shoots past Eagles


Jeremy Burnham

Sophomore guard Brittany Klaman handles the ball in the first half of EWU’s 84-68 loss to Idaho. Klaman finished with 10 points, two assists and a steal.

By Jeremy Burnham, Managing Editor

While the EWU women’s basketball team was focused on containing Big Sky Conference leading scorer senior guard Mikayla Ferenz against Idaho on Thursday night, senior guard Taylor Pierce torched the Eagles with 30 points as the Vandals won 84-68.

“Everyone in the league focuses on [Ferenz],”  EWU head coach Wendy Schuller said. “But we also focused on Pierce, and she went off on us.”

Ferenz entered the game averaging 22.5 points per game, No. 9 in all of NCAA women’s Division 1 basketball. The Eagles held Ferenz to 15 points but it didn’t matter as Pierce shot lights out from buzzer to buzzer, with 47.4 percent from the field.

“She’s one of those kids who you can have a hand up in her face, but it doesn’t matter,” Schuller said. “She was obviously feeling it tonight.”

Senior guard Violet Kapri Morrow got off to a good start for the Eagles. Morrow had eight points in the first quarter as EWU trailed by only five after the opening frame. But midway through the second, she picked up her third foul, and didn’t play again until the five-minute mark in the third quarter. She finished with 20 points.

Schuller wasn’t happy with one of the calls on Morrow, when she was called for a blocking foul under the basket. The replay on the big screen appeared to show that Morrow had both of her feet planted outside of the protected zone after the call was made.

“That didn’t help,” Schuller said. “Especially when her feet were outside the arc, but that’s not something anyone cares to consider.”

Despite the result, the Eagles finished strong, winning the 4th quarter 28-18. At one point, the Eagles even closed the gap to 13, forcing Idaho to call a timeout.

“We scored 28 points in a quarter, and that was good for us,” Schuller said. “So there were some positives, but the score was a big negative.”

EWU is now 1-2 in Big Sky play. Idaho leads the conference at 3-0. The Eagles will return home on Jan. 7 against Northern Colorado.