Montana State liked what it saw in Violet Kapri Morrow, but never extended a scholarship offer to the high-scoring Tacoma product.
Eastern Washington – the one other Division I program that recruited Morrow four years ago – didn’t hesitate.
Morrow recently made the Bobcats pay for their incertitude.
The versatile 5-foot-8 guard scored 37 points and had the winning bucket in an 89-87 overtime win in Bozeman last month. She also sent the game into overtime with a late 3-pointer.
When the Eagles (5-14, 4-6 Big Sky Conference) play host to Montana State (11-10, 6-5) Thursday night at Reese Court, the Bobcats will likely see Morrow etch her name in EWU’s record books.
Morrow (1,118 career points) is two points away from ranking 10th in EWU career scoring.
“It’s crazy,” said Morrow, a senior who also broke the 1,000-point barrier at Wilson High. “Going into the season, I didn’t even know I was near 1,000 points.”
On a youthful, up-and-down squad, Morrow has been a model of consistency.
Morrow ranks fourth in the Big Sky in scoring (18.7 points per game) and is averaging 5.9 rebounds and two assists per game. She also leads EWU in steals (25).
Soft-spoken and reserved, Morrow’s demeanor doesn’t match her on-court assertiveness, an approach EWU coach Wendy Schuller appreciates.
“She could always put it on the floor, then go ‘Beast Mode’ and get to the rim,” Schuller said. “She finishes well, but she’s gotten better at shooting the 3, so defenders have to respect that.”
Morrow averaged 14.6 ppg last season and was named to the All-Big Sky third team. When EWU’s all-time leading scorer, Delaney Hodgins, graduated last spring, Morrow shouldered more of the leadership role.
“I knew I was going to have to step up and be a scorer,” Morrow said. “As the older girls starting leaving, I knew I had to step up.”
EWU experienced mixed results in the first half of Big Sky play. It lost to first-place Northern Colorado in overtime, beat the middle-of-the-pack Montana schools on the road, but also lost to struggling Southern Utah.
With seven of its next 10 conference games at home, and with the recent return of a healthy Jessica McDowell-White (8.2 points, 2 assists per game), EWU believes it can make a late push for a high conference tournament seed.
The Eagles face rival Montana (10-9, 5-5) at home on Saturday.
“We can’t get complacent,” Morrow said. “We can’t take any more steps back and need to move forward.”
Idaho’s Ferenz gains honor
Idaho guard Mikayla Ferenz was named College Sports Madness’ Big Sky Player of the Week on Monday.
Ferenz averaged 19.5 points, nine assists and 5.5 rebounds in road wins over Northern Arizona and Southern last week.
The Vandals (11-8, 8-2) play host to Montana tonight and Montana State on Saturday. They are one-half game behind first-place Idaho State and Northern Colorado.
January set for return to Pullman
When No. 18 Arizona State (15-6, 6-4) visits Washington State (7-15, 2-9) on Thursday, a familiar face will return to the Inland Northwest.
Former Lewis and Clark High and Arizona State star Briann January is an assistant coach for the Sun Devils.
January is also a veteran guard for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, which begins its season in May.
Whitworth looks to make late push
First-year Whitworth coach Joial Griffith has the young Pirates in a solid spot.
Whitworth (11-10, 6-6 Northwest Conference) is tied for fourth place in the nine-team conference, which features No. 13 George Fox (18-3, 11-1) and No. 22 Whitman (17-4, 11-1) at the top.
The Pirates have four conference games left. They face Linfield (10-11, 6-6) on Friday and George Fox on Saturday, both at the Whitworth Fieldhouse.
Whitworth, which finished sixth in the NWC last season, is led by guard Camy Aguinaldo (13.9 ppg).
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