Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 23° Clear
Sports >  NCAA basketball

College basketball 2022-23: Eastern Washington’s quick rebuild looks even stronger with addition of Jamie Loera

By Jim Allen For The Spokesman-Review

When Joddie Gleason took over the women’s basketball program at Eastern Washington last year, the bar couldn’t have been set any lower.

Longtime coach Wendy Schuller had been dismissed after a losing season and another mass exodus of players, and expectations had hit rock-bottom.

Athletic director Lynn Hickey turned to Gleason, a former head coach at Humboldt State and more recently an assistant at Seattle University.

After a slow start, the Eagles went 9-21 overall and a surprising 7-13 in the Big Sky Conference.

“We came in and we’re working hard on building the culture that we wanted to have,” Gleason said.

Now the building continues, but on a much firmer foundation. The Eagles return all five starters and several key reserves. Gleason also added Arizona State grad transfer Jamie Loera of Moses Lake, the younger sister of former Gonzaga star Jessie Loera.

“We had the plan of taking three to four years to get into the top third of the conference, but I think we have a team that can compete with anyone in the conference,” Gleason said.

The Eagles will count heavily on sophomore forward Jaydia Martin, a versatile 6-footer who averaged a team-high 15.2 points last year. She also pulled down almost five boards per contest and shot 32% from long range.

“She’s prolific,” Gleason said. “She’s a good 3-point shooter and she also can get to the hoop.”

The other key returnee is Spokane native Jacinta Buckley, a former Lewis and Clark High School star who averaged 12.9 points and 8.5 boards.

A junior transfer from UNLV, the 6-1 Buckley “can defend anyone on the court and has good reach,” Gleason said. “She’s also a menace on the boards.”

The Eagles will get more help in the paint from junior forward Milly Knowles, who according to Gleason has “done a great job of bringing those elements that a leader needs to bring.”

Another LC alum, point guard Andie Zylak, will vie for playing time alongside Loera.

With only four upperclassmen on the roster, the Eagles will be tested by another demanding nonconference schedule that includes games at Boise State, Oregon State, Oregon and Gonzaga.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.