Austin, Texas - In its final game of the Lone Star Showcase Saturday afternoon, Nov. 28, the Eastern Washington University women's basketball team lost an overtime thriller to Creighton, 66-60.
The loss drops EWU to 3-4 on the year, while Creighton improves to 4-2.
Eastern dominated the first quarter, shooting 50 percent from the field to take an 18-9 lead. The Eagles' defense held Creighton to 25-percent shooting over the opening 10 minutes and forced four turnovers.
The second quarter was the exact opposite as the Eagles shot 4-of-11 for a clip of 36.4 percent and turned the ball over 11 times in the period. The Bluejays took advantage, shooting 50 percent from the floor and outscoring EWU 23-9 en route to a 32-27 halftime edge.
EWU battled back to take a 44-43 lead after the third quarter. The Eagles shot 57.1 percent and committed just one turnover while playing shutdown defense on Creighton holding it to 33.3 percent shooting.
Creighton led by as many as five points in the fourth quarter only to see Eastern crawl back to take a 53-52 lead on a three-pointer from senior Hayley Hodgins at the 3:00 mark. EWU's advantage ballooned to four, 56-52, on a triple from junior Tisha Phillips, but the Bluejays closed the game on a 4-0 run to send it to overtime.
Creighton would outscore the Eagles by six, 10-4, in overtime as it led for the entirety of the five-minute period to secure the win.
Sophomore Mariah Cunningham was the leading scorer for Eastern with a career-high 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting. She added four rebounds and two blocks to her stat line.
Hayley Hodgins scored 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting. On the defensive end she tallied four steals and two blocks.
Junior Ashli Payne nearly had a double-double with eight points on 3-of-6 shooting and 10 rebounds.
Phillips filled the stat sheet with eight points, six rebounds, and a team-leading five assists. She also had two steals on the game.
As a team the Eagles shot 44.6 percent from the field compared to 36.8 percent for the Bluejays. EWU also made five three-pointers on 45.5 percent shooting, while Creighton made nine from deep on 37.5 percent shooting.
Eastern spread the ball out well between their starters, with three of the players scoring in double digits, and all five of them combining for 54 of the teams 60. Creighton called on their bench unit for extra scoring, with 19 point coming from them.
The Eagles played tough defense, holding the Bluejays, who average 76 points per game, to only 56 at the end of regulation. However, Creighton won the turnover battle forcing 19 EWU miscues, and capitalizing off those mistakes for 25 points. Eastern forced 12 turnovers and turned their opponent's mistakes into 16 points.
Quoting Coach Schuller
"Ultimately, the game didn't go our way because we didn't take care of the ball the way we needed to down the stretch. We had opportunities and got some good looks in overtime but came up short. Creighton is a really good basketball team, and to hold them to 66 points over 45 minutes is a testament to the work our players did defensively. We're trying to grow from each and every experience, and sometimes that means growing from negatives as well as positives. I thought we did a lot of things well today but didn't do the little things late in the game."
Dating back to last season, Hayley Hodgins has now scored in double figures in 23 straight games.
The Eagles will head home after their three-game stay at the Lone Star Showcase, and take on Utah Valley on Thursday, Dec. 3. The game will tipoff at 6:00 p.m. PST at Reese Court.