WOMEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS TO EASTERN WASHINGTON, 69-64
CHENEY, Wash. - In a see-saw battle that saw 16 ties and 20 lead changes, the Sacramento State women's basketball team dropped a 69-64 decision to the Eastern Washington Eagles at Reese Court on Sunday, Jan. 4.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 2-13 on the season, 0-2 in Big Sky Conference play, while the Eagles improve to 7-8 and 2-0 inside of the Big Sky.
The game was tight throughout, with Eastern Washington holding a one-point halftime advantage at 27-26. The Hornets held a 47-45 lead with 10:43 remaining before the Eagles sparked a 7-0 run to take back a 52-47 advantage with 8:23 play. The Hornets answered with a 7-2 run of their own to tie the game at 54-54 with 5:00 to play, as junior Ashley Garcia (Antioch, Calif.) and sophomore Emily Christensen (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) each hit a three-pointer and junior Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.) added a free throw during the run.
After Tatjana Sparavalo hit a pair of free throws to give Eastern Washington back the lead at 56-54, Edwards contributed a 2-for-2 trip at the free throw line to tie the score at 56-56 with 4:21 remaining. From there the Eagles outscored the Hornets 13-8, with Julie Piper giving EWU the lead for good with a three-point play to make the score 59-56. Following two Piper free throws that made the score 61-56, the Hornets would only get as close as three points on one occasion, 64-61 with 1:02 remaining, on an Edwards three-pointer. The Eagles hit 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to give the team its best Big Sky start since the 2004-05 season.
Edwards season-high output of 16 points tied for Hornet-high honors with junior Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.), with Hunt providing 11 in the first half and Edwards scoring 11 in the second. Edwards also provided a team-high seven rebounds, while sophomore Tika Koshiyama-Diaz (San Jose, Calif.) scored seven points and added a team-high five assists off the bench in 17 minutes.
Piper led the way for the Eagles with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Nicole Scott and Kyla Evans added 12 points apiece.
The Hornets outshot their opponents for the second straight game, shooting 43.4 percent (23-of-53) from the field to the Eagles 37.5 percent (21-of-56). The Eagles did their damage from the foul line, shooting 80 percent for the game (24-of-30), including a 20-for-24 mark in the second half.
Sacramento State returns to action at home on Thursday, Jan. 8 as they host the Montana State Bobcats. Tipoff from the Hornets Nest is set for 7:05 p.m.