WIN RECORD FALLS FOR EOU WOMEN

January 14, 2002 12:00 am
HEADS UP: Rachelle Stockman, who scored nine points, looks for a teammate to pass the ball to during Saturdays easy victory over The Evergreen State College, the Mountaineer womens 13th straight victory. (The Observer/C.J. GISH).
HEADS UP: Rachelle Stockman, who scored nine points, looks for a teammate to pass the ball to during Saturdays easy victory over The Evergreen State College, the Mountaineer womens 13th straight victory. (The Observer/C.J. GISH).

By C.J. Gish

Observer Staff Writer

The 13th straight win for Eastern Oregon Universitys womens basketball team came with little fanfare Saturday.

Instead, the Mountaineers treated their school record-breaking performance a 76-51 win over visiting The Evergreen State College as another stepping stone that marks this seasons fairy-tale path.

It was important for us to get that record, Eastern coach Anji Weissenfluh said as Eastern got off to its best start in school history.

One of our goals at the beginning of the season was to be over .500, make the playoffs and be realistic. We thought those were realistic goals.

We stopped a few games ago and set new goals. Well enjoy the little successes, like breaking the school record, but we have to build a program before we can start taking anything for granted.

After losing its season opener, Easterns 13 straight wins breaks the former school record of 12 in a row set in 1982-83. Saturday, in front of a Quinn Coliseum crowd of 315, the Mountaineers (13-1 overall, 6-0 league) methodically picked apart the worst team in the Cascade Collegiate Conference.

With nagging injuries to All-Conference MVP candidate Brooke Sellards, point guard Tricia Haddock and bench player Danielle Dianda, Eastern played its starters sparingly and gave everybody on the team a chance to play.

We could have come in here, flexed our muscle and beat them by 50, or we could keep our players healthy, Weissenfluh said.

Evergreen (1-18, 1-6) stayed close early. Three 3-pointers from Chandra Rathke and two from Belqui Guardado kept the Geoducks within 33-29 with 5:03 left in the first half.

Jamie Jo Cant scored on a driving layup, followed four points from Brooke Sellards, a steal and a free throw from Tricia Haddock and a Rachelle Stockman 3-pointer gave the Mountaineers a 43-31 halftime edge.

The second half featured a more free throws than field goals with Eastern hitting 18-of-23 and Evergreen making 8-of-15.

The Geoducks never threatened in the second half as the Mountaineers held a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

Haddock paced Eastern with 14 points, seven assists and four steals. Julie Coffin had 13 points and nine rebounds, Sellards added 11 points and nine rebounds, and Cant had 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Heather Epeldi came off the bench and grabbed eight rebounds.

Rathke scored a game-high 15 points for Evergreen, and Guardado added 13.

The Mountaineers embark on a five-game road swing to close out January, starting with Cascade in Portland on Friday.

EVERGREEN (51)

Williams 3-4 0-0 6, Jablonski 2-8 0-0 4, Jones 0-3 2-2 2, Woods 3-8 1-2 7, Guardado 4-15 2-2 13, Wallman 0-2 1-2 1, Craig 0-2 0-0 0, McCallum 0-2 0-0 0, Rathke 5-15 2-4 15, Pendergrass 0-4 3-4 3. Totals: 17-63 11-16 51.

EASTERN OREGON (76)

Sellards 2-5 7-11 11, R.Stockman 3-7 3-5 9, Coffin 4-9 5-7 13, Haddock 3-8 5-8 14, Cant 3-11 2-2 10, LiaBraaten 0-3 1-2 1, Kinley 0-0 2-2 2, Epeldi 2-5 1-2 5, Guerra 1-1 2-2 5, Smith 0-3 0-2 0, Dianda 2-5 2-2 6. Totals: 20-57 27-40 76.

Halftime score Eastern Oregon 43, Evergreen 31. Three-pointers Evergreen 6-19 (Woods 0-3, Guardado 3-10, Rathke 3-5), Eastern Oregon 9-21 (Sellards 0-1, R.Stockman 3-5, Haddock 3-8, Cant 2-6, Guerra 1-1). Fouled out Williams, Guardado. Total fouls Evergreen 26, Eastern Oregon 13. Technical fouls None. Turnovers Evergreen 22, Eastern Oregon 20. Rebounds Evergreen 38 (Jablonski 7), Eastern Oregon 54 (Sellards 9, Coffin 9). Assists Evergreen 9 (Woods 3, Rathke 3), Eastern Oregon 16 (Haddock 7).