Eagles win seventh-straight after holding off Bears - Eastern Washington University Athletics (2024)

CHENEY, Wash. — One streak ended earlier this season, but Eastern Washington women's basketball went right back to work to start another one. Eastern defeated Northern Colorado 68-63 at Reese Court to earn its seventh consecutive victory today. Eastern improves to 13-2 in the Big Sky and 23-5 overall.

"I am happy with the way we started the game and defended with urgency that entire first half. That helped build a little cushion and we knew that UNC is a good team," head coach Joddie Gleason described. "They are going to keep playing hard and making plays, you got to tip your hat when they are making so many plays down the stretch. I thought we did a nice job starting and executing our end of games situations as well. I will take any win we can get and we always seem to go to the wire with them. UNC mixes it up defensively and keeps you off balance. They switch from man to zone whether they make or miss shots and it keeps your offense from getting any type of flow. That is something we know they are doing and prepare for it, but it is always tough. They run a very intricate and tough offense to defend along with good shooters. You have to suck up on them and take away those perimeter threes. Then they killed us inside in the post and when we were helping out. They have that balanced inside out scoring which makes it tough."

The Eagles were led in the scoring column by Jaleesa Lawrence, who finished with 19 points. Aaliyah Alexander scored 16, followed by Jamie Loera with 10.

"Our coaches were in the ear telling the whole team to be confident and relying on the team," Alexander explained. "Our team is super encouraging, we really huddled and relied on each other to secure the game. We are a defensive team, and we can score off their offensive errors. Securing the ball when they do turn it over and taking care of it so we can close out the game."

EWU began the game with a 5-0 lead, as Alexander opened with three points. UNC clawed back into the game and the score was 7-5 Eagles at the 4:09 point. After the team's traded scores, Eastern closed the quarter on an 8-0 run to lead 18-7. The run was fueled by three scores inside the paint.

Into the second quarter, EWU continued to keep their lead in double digits. Lawrence was effective at the free throw line and scoring in the paint. The Eagles went 10-of-10 from the strike in the second to help outscore UNC, 19-16. The lead for Eastern grew to 37-23 at the half.

The Bears fought back to begin the second half, holding a 6-3 scoring advantage through the first two-and-a-half minutes. Eastern refocused and had scores from Alexis Pettis and Bella Hays to keep the double-digit lead. UNC was able to cut the lead down to nine with a minute remaining in the quarter at 49-40. Alexander salvaged the end of the quarter with a three to give EWU a 52-40 advantage.

In the fourth quarter, the Bears closed the gap with the Eagles, reducing the lead to seven and 8:01 on the clock. EWU pushed the lead back to double-digits, highlighted by Alexander's jump shot in the paint. UNC did not go away, however, cutting the lead down to seven against a 58-51. With 1:03 left in the game, the Bears whittled the lead down to 62-58 with a key three. Lawrence came up clutch with a layup in the paint, followed by a rebound on the next UNC possession. The junior made four free throws down the stretch and padded the lead and gave Eastern the 68-63 win. Eastern finished with a 31.8 shooting percentage.

Alexander's 16 points against UNC gave her 1001 for her career. She is the 19th player in EWU history to reach the milestone.

The accomplishment was cheered by her head coach, "I want to give a shoutout to Leelee [ Alexander] getting her 1,000-career point, that is huge. She is a stud, but that is tough to do, especially this early on."

Alexander reflected on the accomplishment, ""It is a huge accomplishment, it's hard to do but it also depends on the team that you are playing for. A lot of those points came from assists from my teammates. I just love the opportunity to play under coach Joddie and then to play with my teammates, so I am happy about that."

Eag Notes

  • Eastern forced 12 turnovers from Northern Colorado and scored 17 points off of them. The team committed only six turnovers ove their own, leading to four points for the Bears.
  • EWU out-rebounded UNC, 40 to 33, getting 16 offensive rebounds. Lawrence led the team with nine rebounds, including four offensive. Eastern scored 15 points on second chance opportunities
  • Aaliyah Alexander notched her 24th game this season scoring in double figures, while Jaleesa Lawrence recorded her 12th. Jamie Loera posted her 20th double-digit scoring game.
  • As a team, the Eagles were 21-of-22(95.5%) from the free-throw line.
  • Loera led the team with five assists and two steals.

Up Next
Eastern Washington travels to Montana for two games next week, beginning with the Grizzlies on Feb. 29 and then the Bobcats on Mar. 2.

Join the Eagle Athletic Fund for as low as $50 per year! Support Eagle student-athletes on and off the field while enjoying exclusive EAF perks such as season ticket and tailgating priority, invitations to special events, exclusive access and more. Visit goeags.com/eaf for more information.

ABOUT EASTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS
Eastern Washington University Athletics sponsors 14 intercollegiate sports, six for men and eight for women, both as learning opportunities for its most athletically talented students and as an enhancement to student and community life. Eastern is affiliated with Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and is a member of the Big Sky Conference, an association of 10 regional schools with comparable enrollments and academic goals.

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Eagles win seventh-straight after holding off Bears - Eastern Washington University Athletics (2024)
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