Eastern Oregon Ends First Half with 16-4 Run, as Mountaineers Defeat Willamette, 81-50

CALDWELL, IDAHO -- Eastern Oregon University concluded the first half with a 16-4 run in a little over seven minutes, as the Mountaineers built a 41-19 lead on their way to an 81-50 victory over Willamette University on Friday, Nov. 24, in the first round of the Lady Yote Classic at Albertson College. Eastern Oregon improved its record to 3-1, while Willamette dropped to 0-4.

The Mountaineers held a 25-15 lead after Willamette’s Tracie Nygaard (Jr., F, Astoria, OR/Knappa HS) scored on a layup with 7:32 left in the first period. Eastern Oregon scored the next eight points and later held a 35-17 advantage. Laura Payne (Jr., G, Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) cut two points off the lead with a layup for WU at the 2:09 mark, but the Mountaineers scored the final six points of the half on a pair of three-pointers by Stephanie Neubauer.

Willamette was unable to make a run at the Mountaineers in the second half. Even so, EOU outscored the Bearcats by just nine points, 40-31, over the final 20 minutes. After shooting just 25.8% in the first half (8 of 31), the Bearcats improved to 34.4% (11 of 32) in the second half. EOU was 17 of 34 (50.0%) in each half and made 7 of 17 three-pointers (41.2%) on the night.

Payne led the Bearcats in scoring with 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting, including 3 of 6 on three-point shots. She also made one of two free throws, grabbed three boards and earned three assists, while playing all 40 minutes. Nygaard chipped in 10 points and hauled down five rebounds. Keilyn Fujioka (Fr., F, Kailua, HI/Iolani HS) provided a game-high11 rebounds and also scored six points. Maggie Wilkens (So., G, Seattle, WA/Lakeside HS) scored just four points, but contributed four rebounds, while leading the team with four assists and three steals.

Eastern Oregon received a game-high 21 points from Tiffany Ulmer, who hit 10 of 13 field goals. She also achieved seven rebounds and five assists. Liz Brice supplied 13 points and seven boards, while Laura Gyllenberg scored 12 points and earned a team-high 10 rebounds. The Mountaineers were credited with 27 assists on 34 baskets, and also registered 14 steals.

Willamette will take on host Albertson College in the second round of the Lady Yote Classic on Saturday, Nov. 25.Tip-off at the Activities Center in Caldwell, Idaho, is set for 5 p.m. (PST). In the first round, Westminster College (Utah) defeated Albertson, 69-53. Westminster and Eastern Oregon will meet on Saturday at 3 p.m. (PST).