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Sports >  EWU basketball

Beyonce Bea’s season-high 26 leads Idaho past Eastern Washington 79-72

Feb. 19, 2022 Updated Sat., Feb. 19, 2022 at 8:06 p.m.

By Peter Harriman For The Spokesman-Review

MOSCOW, Idaho – Idaho’s jack of all trades, Beyonce Bea, scored a season-high 26 points in a perimeter-oriented game as the Vandals seized a third-quarter lead and held off Eastern Washington (7-18, 5-11), 79-72 on Saturday.

Bea finished 9 of 20 from the floor, including a 3-pointer, and hit all seven of her free-throw attempts.

“I told her she had to keep shooting,” Idaho coach Jon Newlee said of Bea. “She was getting great looks early, but they weren’t going in.”

“He’s always telling me to keep shooting,” Bea said.

At 6-foot-1, Bea did most of the inside work for the Vandals (7-16 overall, 6-6 Big Sky Conference). On some teams she would be a natural shooting guard or small forward.

“She plays one through five for us,” Newlee said.

“I like having the variety,” Bea said.

The Eagles enjoyed a 35-32 halftime lead.

“It was neck-and-neck, and we weren’t getting as many defensive stops as we wanted to,” Bea said of the first half.

Idaho went ahead 36-35 on a Bea drive. The Eagles’ Jacinta Buckley answered with a basket in the paint, but Idaho’s Sydney Gandy hit a 3-pointer to give Idaho a 39-37 advantage and the Vandals never trailed again. The Vandals outscored EWU 21-13 in the third quarter.

“We had that awesome third quarter,” Bea said. “It fed us on offense.”

The Eagles did a good job getting multiple defenders on the Vandals’ shooters. But in a game in which midrange jump shots and 3-point attempts were the preferred scoring options, the Vandals closed out their victory when they went as big as they could in the fourth quarter with Bea, Louise Forsythe (6-1) and Tiana Johnson (6-2).

Neither team shot especially well. EWU hit 25 of 71 (35.2%). Idaho wasn’t much better, going 26 of 67 (38.8).

Backing Bea for the Vandals, Ashlyn Wallace added 14 points and Johnson 10.

EWU had balanced scoring, with Jaydia Martin and Jaleesa Lawrence scoring 17 points apiece, Alexis Pettis 14 and Buckley 13.

Idaho’s victory follows a disappointing 76-73 loss at Montana on Thursday. The Vandals host the Grizzlies Monday.

“We needed this huge,” Newlee said of the win against EWU. “That was a bitter loss at Montana, and we needed to have this to keep our confidence up.”

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