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Eagles hold off Vandals

Things haven’t been going well for the Eastern Washington women’s basketball team and coach Wendy Schuller was worried how the Eagles would react when that changed.

She found out Friday night when the Eagles snapped a four-game losing streak with a 65-63 win over the University of Idaho at Reese Court in Cheney.

“Their kids made some big plays down the stretch, but I was very pleased with our kids for being resilient,” Schuller said. “When they came back and tied it, I didn’t know what we’d do and how we’d react. … It was a great team effort and sorely needed. I knew we could do it, that was the best part about it,” she added.

The Eagles (5-7) led 48-36 when Jamie Chicane drilled a 3-pointer from the top of key with 13 minutes left, but the Vandals (4-7) turned up the pressure. EWU had 13 of its 19 turnovers in the second half.

Jessica Summers, who had a big game with 12 points and 16 rebounds for Idaho, made an 18-footer to tie the game at 59 with 4:16 left.

The Eagles didn’t fold, though some missed free throws made it tense. EWU was 19 of 28 from the line to Idaho’s 11 of 15.

Eastern made 2 of 4, but Emily Faurholt fed Karly Felton for a tying layup at 1:27. Felice Moore countered on a feed from Joanna Chadd, but Faurholt, who led all scorers with 21 points, made two free throws to tie it again with 36 seconds left.

Chicane was fouled attacking the basket and her two free throws at 17 seconds won the game when the Vandals turned the ball over with less than 3 seconds left.

“They played at a different level against us,” Idaho coach Mike Divilbiss said. “A lot of teams do that. That’s the next step in our program, learning to play with expectations. … Every game has been like that.”

Eastern shot 51.2 percent for the game and had four players in double figures, led by Chicane and Chadd with 13 apiece.

“We attacked a lot more and had kids that when they shot the ball they shot with confidence,” Schuller said. “And our shot selection was better than it’s been.”

More important for Chicane was how hard she made Faurholt work for her points.

“She got 20 points, but I knew I had to make her work,” the junior from Cottonwood, Idaho, said. “Hopefully, it tired her out. … She’s not an easy one to defend. She works hard, she doesn’t just stand there.”

Idaho starts its first season in the Western Athletic Conference next week with games at New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech. Eastern is home against Washington State on Tuesday followed by an 11-day break before opening Big Sky play at home.

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