High-Stakes Contest Awaits @EWUWBB Saturday Against Montana

High-Stakes Contest Awaits @EWUWBB Saturday Against Montana
EASTERN WASHINGTON EAGLES (17-9, 10-5 Big Sky Conference)
- at -
MONTANA GRIZZLIES (20-7, 13-3 Big Sky Conference)
Game #27
Thursday, Feb. 26 | 2:00 p.m. PT
Dahlberg Arena (7,200) | Missoula, Mont.
Live Stats | Live Video

Cheney, Wash. – The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team has it all to play for Saturday, Feb. 28, when it takes on Montana in Missoula, Mont., in a Big Sky Conference contest at 1 p.m. PT.

Eastern (17-9, 10-5 BSC) still has a shot at a Big Sky regular season title and hosting the Big Sky Tournament, but will need to win out in order to do so.

Montana (20-7, 13-3 BSC) clinched a share of the regular season title with its home win over Idaho last night and needs just one more victory to secure hosting rights for the conference tournament.

The Eagles' six-game winning streak came to an end last night, Feb. 26, in a 63-53 loss at Montana State. EWU trailed by as many as 18 points with eight minutes left, but a furious rally saw the Bobcats' lead cut to four points late in the game. A handful of untimely errors cost Eastern late, however, as MSU held on to win.

With only three more dates of competition remaining on the league schedule, the Big Sky Tournament picture is becoming more solidified. Montana, Eastern and Sacramento State clinched bids last week while Northern Colorado punched its ticket last night behind a victory over Southern Utah.

The only team that has been eliminated from the tournament is Portland State, meaning seven teams are still in the running for the final four spots. If the tournament started today, EWU would be the No. 2 overall seed and would play Idaho State in the first round.

The Eagles have a tough task against the Lady Griz, who are 11-2 at home this season, including a 7-1 mark in Big Sky play. UM boasts the league's best defense statistically, leading the conference in scoring defense (56.5 pag), field goal percentage defense (33.3 pct) and three-point field goal percentage defense (28.8 pct).

EWU won this season's first meeting, 65-64, in Cheney back on Feb. 5. Eastern shot 40.0 percent from the field that day, and is just one of three conference teams to shoot at least 40.0 percent against the Lady Griz in a game this season.

Eastern is just 3-36 all-time against Montana in Missoula, but recent history shows the Eagles have more than a chance. EWU has won two of the last four games versus the Lady Griz away from home by a combined 18 points.