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Eastern Washington women fall to Grand Canyon

| December 15, 2020 1:00 AM

CHENEY, Wash. – The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team played host to Grand Canyon today (Dec. 14) in a Monday matinee at Reese Court. Despite making 14 three-pointers in the contest, which ties for the third-most in single-game program history, the Eagles fell by a final score of 84-78.

Eastern Washington had five players score in double figures today, led by Jenna Dick with 17 points. Alexyss Newman followed with a career-best 16, while freshman Aaliyah Alexander contributed with 15. Kennedy Dickie and Grace Kirscher rounded out the scoring with 11 points each.

"It was a brutal first half, you can't turn the ball over 18 times. We need to have a lot of a willing ball handlers, and I thought in the first half we just didn't. We put a lot on certain people to do a majority of the ball-handling. The second half, we were more willing and took a lot better care of the basketball, but it would be nice to put two halves together," said head coach Wendy Schuller. "On Saturday, I'd like to see two complete halves of basketball and not just go through the motions like we did in the first quarter. In the fourth quarter today, I saw the intensity level go up, I saw a fire and I saw us communicating and playing winning basketball. We have to play forty minutes of that."

Eastern Washington shot and made nothing but three-pointers during the first quarter of play, going 5-for-10 from behind the arc and the field. Alexander would tie the game 15-15 following her first triple of the contest, but the Lopes cruised on an 8-0 run to end the quarter, leading 23-15.

Grand Canyon's run carried into the second quarter after the Lopes opened the scoring with a three-pointer to extend their lead, 26-15. Midway through the second quarter, Alexander put the Eagles back within four points, 28-24, with her second three-pointer of the day and later EWU used a 7-0 run to cut the deficit 43-35, but GCU continued to pull ahead. Both teams shot below 40 percent in the quarter, and the Lopes forced 11 EWU turnovers to take a 47-37 lead into the locker room.

Dick came out firing in the third, launching back-to-back three pointers to put the Eagles back within six points, 49-43. Kallie Schaplow came in off the bench to provide the Eagles a spark with a three-pointer to come within five points, 57-52, as EWU continued to chip at the deficit. Despite holding Grand Canyon to just 35.7 percent (5-14) from the field and outscoring them 17-14 in the third, the Lopes held on to a 61-54 lead entering the fourth.

Alexander found Dick across the court and tossed a lob pass that Dick quickly turned in to a three-pointer to start the fourth quarter. Dick would score 11 of her 17 points in the fourth, going a perfect 4-for-4 from field goal range and 3-for-3 behind the arc.

Down by eight points with less than a minute to play, Eastern Washington called timeout and advanced the ball downcourt where Dick received the in-bounds pass and drove to the hoop to make it a six-point game, 78-72. Grand Canyon made it to the free throw line three times in the last 42 seconds of play and went a perfect 6-for-6 to help seal the game. Kirscher made a last-effort three-pointer with three seconds on the clock, but Eastern Washington fell short, 84-78.

WIN LOSS RECORDS: Eastern Washington drops to 0-4 (0-2 Big Sky) after today's loss, while Grand Canyon improves to 4-1 overall. Today's contest was the first-ever between the Lopes and the Eagles.

TOP PERFORMANCES: Jenna Dick, who earned the start for the first time this season, led the Eagles with a season-high 17 points. She also pulled down four rebounds to go with three assists. She was 6-for-10 from the field and 5-for-8 from three-point range. This marks the seventh time the young sophomore has made five or more three-point field goals in a game.

Alexyss Newman contributed with a new career-high 16 points, scoring in double figures for the second time this season. She also led the team with nine rebounds and dished two assists. The sophomore was 3-for-4 from the field and 9-for-10 from the free throw line.

For the third time this season Aaliyah Alexander scored in double figures, this time scoring 15 while leading the Eagles with four assists and a block. The freshman made three three-pointers and pulled down five rebounds.

Kennedy Dickie scored in double figures for the second-straight game to tally 11 points. Grace Kirscher scored 11 points and had five rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block. She is now just seven three-pointers away from cracking EWU's all-time top-ten list.