Mounties move on

February 20, 2013 01:18 pm

EOU’s Tina Miller lays the ball up during Mountaineers’ 81-67 victory Tuesday. CASEY KELLAS/The Observer
EOU’s Tina Miller lays the ball up during Mountaineers’ 81-67 victory Tuesday. CASEY KELLAS/The Observer

by CASEY KELLAS / The Observer

Top-seeded Eastern women cruise past Warriors in tournament opener

At the mid-point of the first half Corban took its largest lead of the game at 24-17. 

Then with 6:48 to play before the half the Warriors held a six-point advantage at 29-23.

But that’s when EOU started to figure things out. 

Corban gave the Eastern Oregon women’s basketball team an early scare Tuesday night, but in the end the Warriors couldn’t maintain their hot shooting and the top-seeded Mountaineers eased past the visitors 81-67 in the first round of the Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament.

“In the playoffs it’s about grinding it out and finding a way,” EOU head coach Anji Weissenfluh said. “And we did that.”

But Corban made the game interesting in the first 20 minutes. 

The Warriors started the game with a hot hand, shooting 50 percent (13-26) from the field and hitting four of six 3-pointers.

The Mountaineers closed the first half on a 15-5 run to take a 38-34 lead into the locker room.

“We had to go to the zone just to get them out of rhythm,” Weissenfluh said of her adjustments. “They were beating us at the 3-point line, so it was kind of dangerous to go to the zone, but we just had to shake things up.

“And offensively we had to start attacking.”

The Mountaineers were able to carry over the momentum they gained at the end of the first half into the second half. EOU started on a 10-2 run to give itself some breathing room. 

The Mountaineers stretched their lead to as much as 17 points with 7:15 to play.

Corban never got within 11 points after that and Eastern Oregon cruised to its 23rd straight victory.

Brooke Randall led the way with 25 points and eight rebounds, while Jorie Freeman scored 16 points and pulled down six boards. Korrie Bourn added 10 points, while Kelsea Hurliman finished with eight points.

EOU had 10 different girls score, while shooting 45 percent from the field.

“We have a lot of offensive weapons that they have to pay attention to. If they focus too much on Kelsea, other people will step up and beat them,” Weissenfluh said.

The Warriors had four players finish in double figures, led by Tara Vanweerdhuizen’s 17 points and 10 rebounds. Julia Young finished with 16 points and seven boards, while both Jade Lowery and Tess Bennett each had 10 points.

The Mountaineers will now face Southern Oregon Friday in the semifinals. The fifth-seeded Raiders defeated fourth-seeded Warner Pacific 71-64 Tuesday.

EOU has home court advantage all the way through the CCC tournament.

“It’s huge,” Weissenfluh said of getting to stay at home. “This time of year, teams are tired. We’re tired. We’re just like everyone else. So for us to not have to travel, and keep our kids in class and on their daily routine, it’s really nice.”

Friday’s game tips off at 7 p.m. at Quinn Coliseum.