BOISE – Violet Kapri Morrow wasn’t ready to see her career end.
Not this early in the Big Sky Conference Tournament, anyway.
A pair of freshmen helped keep the Eastern Washington senior guard’s final season going Monday.
Jessica McDowell-White and Grace Kirscher combined for 20 points in a pivotal fourth quarter to lift the sixth-seeded Eagles past No. 11 seed Weber State 81-74 at CenturyLink Arena.
EWU (11-19) will face No. 3 seed Idaho State (20-9) in the quarterfinals Tuesday.
The Eagles trailed Weber State 54-48 entering the fourth quarter before Morrow sparked a 13-2 run, scoring the Eagles’ first eight points.
Weber State (6-25) tried to answer, but the long-range shooting of McDowell-White (19 points, 5 for 6 from 3-point range) and Kirscher (11 points) put the last-place Wildcats away.
“It makes me happy that (the freshman) want to fight for our success,” said Morrow, a second-team All-Big Sky selection who had 19 points and 10 rebounds. “After seeing the All-Conference selections, it got us fired up.”
“We came out lackadaisical after the half, so it was great to see us have such a great fourth quarter,” said EWU coach Wendy Schuller, whose team poured in 33 points in the final period. “When you shoot the 3 the way we did, you’re going to win a lot of games.”
EWU, which was plagued by 20 turnovers, connected on 14 of its 29 3-point attempts, hitting seven in the first quarter.
Weber State, which beat EWU 70-66 in Cheney on Saturday, saw standout guard Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman score 11 of her game-high 30 points in the third quarter.
Wildcats guard Emily Drake, a Pullman High graduate, scored 16 points in her final collegiate game, which saw 10 ties and nine lead changes.
“We got up in the game a little bit, and we knew it was going to battle,” said Drake, a former Great Northern League Player of the Year. “I’m just proud of how this team came together.”
Uriah Howard (15 points, nine rebounds) was big for EWU early, hitting three first-quarter 3-pointers to give EWU a 24-21 edge.
The Eagles now face Idaho State, which beat the Eagles by an average of 22 points in both regular season meetings. The Bengals beat conference champion Idaho 73-67 on Saturday in Pocatello.
“(Idaho State) is a tough match-up. They’re big and physical,” Schuller said. “They’ve got great post play and great shooters.
Idaho to face Northern Arizona
Big Sky Conference champion and top-seeded Idaho (19-10) begins its quest for an NCAA tournament berth Tuesday in Boise.
The Vandals, who earned a first-round bye, face seventh-seeded Northern Arizona (13-17), which beat No. 10 seed Sacramento State 74-69 on Monday.
Idaho handled the Lumberjacks 86-69 and 90-72 during the regular season.
Mikayla Ferenz, a Walla Walla product who set the Big Sky Conference’s career scoring record and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player, leads the Vandals.
NAU is led by Kaleigh Paplow, who averages team highs of 14.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and three assists.
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