SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) An early flurry of 3-pointers by seventh-seeded Reinhardt (Ga.) provided hopes of an upset before second-seeded Eastern Oregon took command and ran away with a comfortable 83-52 win on Thursday morning. The Mountaineers (31-2) pushed their win streak to 25 while advancing to the second round of the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championships.
- Head coach Anji Weissenfluh’s program picked up its eighth all-time victory on the national stage. Eastern Oregon has hopes of advancing past the quarterfinal round for the first time in school history. Meanwhile, head coach Lindsey Huffman’s squad ended the campaign at 26-10 overall. The Lady Eagles remain in search of their first-ever national tournament win.
- The game turned just about midway through the second quarter when Eastern Oregon began a 14-2 run that gave it a 46-40 lead at the half. The second half was simply a continuation of a dominant spurt by the Mountaineers. Over the final 20 minutes, Reinhardt tallied only 12 points and shot an unsightly 17.9 percent from the floor.
- Eastern Oregon followed a season long pattern of using multiple double-figure scorers to win games. Mariah Swanson paced the Mountaineers with 19 points. She was followed by Stormee Van Belle (15), Payton Parrish (12), Maya Ah You-Dias (11) and Jessica Sexson (10). Reece Bauer dished out six assists.
- The Lady Eagles were forced to play most of the second half without star sophomore forward Rebecca Cheeks, who went down with an injury in the third quarter. Though she played only 21 minutes, Cheeks totaled 19 points (7-for-11 shooting) and eight rebounds.
- Both teams were hot early from beyond the arc. A combined 49 points were scored in a first quarter that featured 11 made 3-point field goals. The Lady Eagles, who entered the tournament shooting 31.9 percent from 3-point distance, seemed to be rising to the occasion before slumping in the second half.
- Eastern Oregon scorched the net in the second half, shooting 60.9 percent (14-for-23). It shot 52.6 percent for the game compared to Reinhardt’s 33.3 percent clip.
- The Mountaineers will advance to the second round and take on third-seeded Northwestern at 3:30 p.m. on Friday as part of the Duer Bracket.