EOU TOPPLES ALBERTSON
By C.J. Gish
Observer Staff Writer
The story line remains the same, but it keeps working for red-hot Eastern Oregon University.
The Mountaineer womens basketball team picked up its 11th-straight win Tuesday, beating a formidable Albertson squad at Quinn Coliseum, 84-62.
Balance and team chemistry have been the key to the Eastern womens best start in school history, and it was evident against the Coyotes in the Cascade Collegiate Conference matchup. Both teams were 3-0 in league play entering the contest.
With leading scorer Brooke Sellards, last weeks conference player of the week, picking up her fourth foul at the 17:12 mark in the second half, things could have crumbled for Eastern, which held a slim 39-35 lead.
Instead, the other Mountaineers (11-1 overall, 3-1 conference) filled the void. Jamie Jo Cant stepped up and hit three 3-pointers, Tricia Haddock added two 3s, and Julie Coffin scored six points in the paint while Sellards was on the bench.
Everyone has been stepping up when someone else is out or off, Haddock said.
When Sellards returned with 5:56 left, Eastern had increased its lead to 64-53. She responded by hitting four free throws and a wide-open layup before fouling out with 1:12 remaining. By then, Eastern held a commanding 81-57 lead.
It was a great win. Confidence can do a lot for a team, Eastern coach Anji Weissenfluh said. We knew we could play well on the road, and now were playing great at home.
Eastern never trailed in the game, racing to leads of 9-2 and 17-4 behind a pair of Cant 3-pointers and five points from Rachelle Stockman.
The lead increased to 25-10 following a Danielle Dianda jumper with 9:55 left in the first half. Albertson (10-6, 3-1) slowly crept back, ending the half with Heidi Goicoechea nailing a 3-pointer and Jeannie Thompson driving for a layup, getting fouled and making the free throw to pull the Coyotes within 33-26.
Early in the second half, Albertson, behind seven points from Thompson, cut the lead to 39-35. Eastern relied on Coffins six points to maintain its lead.
But instead of collapsing under the momentum change and Sellards on the bench with foul trouble, Easterns defense stiffened and its offense picked up.
We didnt lose our composure. When (Albertson) would score, we would answer right back, Coffin said.
Cant started with a 3-pointer and, following a Krystal Thacker jumper, Coffin hit a short hook shot and made a wide-open layup off a Cant pass.
The closest Albertson would get was at the 10:39 mark when it cut the lead to 51-45.
Cant led the Mountaineers with 18 points and added five assists. Sellards had 17 points and five rebounds. Coffin scored 14 points, had seven rebounds and five assists. Stockman added 11 points.
Heather Epeldi came off the bench to score 12 points.
Heather has been playing great inside, Weissenfluh said.
Thompson scored a game-high 24 points for Albertson, and Thacker had 11 points.
Eastern held a big edge in 3-point shooting, completing 11-of-18 to Albertsons 1-of-16. The Mountaineers also dominated at the free throw line, going 19-of-23 to the Coyotes 5-of-11.
The Mountaineers have a chance to break the school record of 12 wins in a row, set during the 1983-84 season, this weekend when they host Northwest on Friday and Evergreen State Saturday.
Thacker 5-9 1-2 11, Thompson 10-20 4-4 24, Goicoechea 3-15 0-0 7, Henrichs 5-10 0-3 10, Bailey 5-10 0-2 10, Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Peterson 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 28-69 5-11 62.
EASTERN OREGON (84)
Haddock 2-4 1-2 7, Cant 5-12 3-4 18, Sellards 5-9 6-6 17, Stockman 4-7 0-0 11, Coffin 5-11 4-4 14, LiaBratten 0-1 1-2 1, Kinley, Epeldi 4-6 4-5 12, Guerra 0-1 0-0 0, Smith, Dianda 2-5 0-0 4. Totals: 27-56 19-23 84.
Halftime score Eastern Oregon 33, Albertson 26. Three-pointers Albertson 1-16 (Goicoechea 1-9, Thacker 0-3, Henrichs 0-1, Williams 0-2, Peterson 0-1), Eastern Oregon 11-18 (Cant 5-9, R.Stockman 3-4, Haddock 2-3, Sellards 1-2). Fouled out None. Total fouls Albertson 16, Eastern Oregon 16. Technical fouls None. Turnovers Albertson 17, Eastern Oregon 16. Rebounds Albertson 38 (Bailey 12), Eastern Oregon 16 (Haddock 7, Coffin 7). Assists Albertson 8 (Goicoechea 2), Eastern Oregon 23 (Haddock 7).
Cascade Collegiate Conference
Eastern Oregon 4-0 11-1
Concordia 4-0 12-5
Albertson 3-1 10-6
Western Baptist 2-2 11-8
Southern Oregon 2-2 6-8
Cascade 1-2 2-14
Northwest 1-3 3-15
Warner Pacific 0-3 3-14
Evergreen State 0-4 1-16
Eastern Oregon 84, Albertson 62
Evergreen State 95, Warner Pacific 80
Cascade 74, Northwest 67
Western Baptist 78, Southern Oregon 62