EWU women’s basketball falls to Portland State in Big Sky Tournament championship


Mckenzie Ford

Senior forward Amira Chandler plays defense against Portland State on Jan. 24. The Eagles lost to the Vikings three times this year, including the 61-59 result in the tournament championship game on Friday.

By Drew Lawson, Reporter

Senior Kapri Morrow’s baseline jumper at the buzzer bounced off the rim and the EWU women’s basketball team lost in the Big Sky Conference Championship to Portland State 61-59 Friday.

EWU led by as many as seven points in the fourth quarter, but PSU came back, utilizing a 9-0 run. Freshman Desirae Hansen hit the go-ahead shot from the right elbow with 2.9 seconds left. EWU got the ball to freshman center Bella Cravens after a timeout. Cravens was stripped, and the ball sailed out of bounds with 0.7 seconds left. No foul was called, despite Craven’s pleas with the officials.

“This (team) laid it out there like I’ve never seen,” EWU head coach Wendy Schuller said. “I feel so proud to be their coach, and honestly I just feel really bad that I couldn’t get these guys to the tournament. They deserved it.”

EWU finished the season 13-20. The Eagles won just one game in nonconference play and entered BSC action with a record of 1-8. In conference regular season play, EWU went 9-11 to earn the No. 6 seed in the BSC Tournament.

The Eagles had to win three games in three days to advance to the BSC Championship. After falling to last-place Weber State in the final regular season game, EWU came back to beat the Wildcats in the first round of the tournament 81-74.

In the quarterfinals, EWU knocked off No. 3 seed Idaho State in overtime 67-65. ISU routed EWU in both regular season matchups, but in the tournament the Eagles came back from a 12-point second half deficit to upset the Bengals.

EWU advanced to the championship the day after the quarterfinals with a narrow victory over No. 2 seed Northern Colorado. Freshman guard Jessica McDowell-White made SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays with her game-winning layup, after inbounding the ball off a UNC player’s back to herself.

This was the first season that EWU advanced to a BSC Championship under Schuller, who finished her 18th season at the helm. EWU hadn’t been in a BSC Championship since 1988.

Next year, EWU will return seasoned freshmen McDowell-White, Cravens and Grace Kirscher. Junior forward Uriah Howard and sophomore guard Brittany Klaman will also be counted on to make contributions. Morrow, who led the Eagles in scoring, rebounding and steals, ends her career with 1,357 points—No. 7 on EWU’s all-time scoring list.