Women's Basketball Comeback Falls Short
CHENEY, Wash. - The Northern Colorado women's basketball team could never quite crawl out of the hole at Eastern Washington on Friday evening, playing from behind the entire game against the Big Sky Conference leading Eagles and eventually falling 63-52.
With the win the Eagles (16-9, 9-3 Big Sky) clinched a spot in the Big Sky playoffs, becoming the first team to do so with the 11-point win over the Bears (12-14, 4-8 Big Sky).
Senior guard Whitley Cox led all players with 19 points and was second on the team with seven rebounds. Junior forward Jayne Strand led the team with eight boards as the Bears grabbed two more rebounds than the Eagles, 36-34.
Junior guard Courtney Stoermer inched ever closer to the 1,000-point milestone with nine points on the night, giving her 995 for her career. She also had a team-best three assists and four steals on the evening.
Eastern Washington was led by Brianne Ryan with 17 and Julie Piper with 15 points. Nicole Scott grabbed a team-best eight rebounds, while Chene Cooper had a game-high four assists to go along with four steals on the evening.
The Eagles scored the first points of the game and Cox answered for the game's only tie at 2-2 and EWU never trailed again, building up as much as a 14-point lead in the first half, 22-8 with 10:32 remaining. Cox led all players with nine points at the break.
Northern Colorado scored 11 of the first 14 points in the second half to cut the 11-point deficit to three, but the Bears were never quite able to take the lead. They matched the Eagles in scoring in the second stanza as each team scored 31.
"I thought we fought back in the second half," said Head Coach Jaime White. "Our press looked good but we couldn't close it out at the end."
The Bears don't get much time to mull over this game, as they take the floor in 24 hours, playing at Portland State on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. (Pacific). The Vikings defeated Northern Arizona this evening, 74-56 in Portland.