When the University of Montana men and women's basketball teams both took on Eastern Washington on Feb. 20, the men lost 76-90 at home while the Lady Griz squeezed out a 65-62 win on the road.
“The better team won, [Eastern Washington is] a well-oiled machine right now,” said UM head men’s basketball coach Travis DeCuire.
The men's game was all Eastern Washington, with the Eagles opening up an early 13-3 lead over UM. Eastern Washington never trailed in the game.
By halftime, Eastern Washington was up 49-27 over the Griz.
Freshman forward Josh Bannan was a bright spot for UM, who had 20 points and nine rebounds in the game.
“I like to compete against whoever it is I’m playing,” said Bannan.
Bannan, combined with fellow freshmen Robby Beasley and Brandon Whitney, scored 40 points, over half of UM’s 76 total points.
“They’ve played well,” said DeCuire regarding the freshmen. “We just need everybody to play well at the same time.”
UM junior guard Cameron Parker contributed 12 points and 10 assists.
Redshirt sophomore guard Eddy Egun made a 3-pointer in the second half to narrow UM’s lead to 62-38. Egun had 8 points in the contest.
With the help of Egun, UM was able to score 49 second-half points compared to its 27 first half point total.
Despite UM’s good second half scoring total, Eastern Washington cruised to a 90-76 win.
The Lady Griz saw a much different game that the UM men’s team did. The lead changed between Eastern Washington and the Lady Griz seven times. The lead never changed in the men’s game.
UM’s leading scorer, junior forward Carmen Gfeller, hit a 3-pointer early in the game to make sure UM only trailed Eastern Washington 10-7.
Gfeller had 14 points and eight rebounds in the game, making both of her 3-point shot attempts.
By the end of the first quarter, the Lady Griz led Eastern Washington 20-19, despite turning the ball over seven times.
Gfeller made an open layup later on in the second half to help the Lady Griz post a 30-27 halftime lead.
After Eastern Washington tied the game in the third quarter, redshirt junior forward Abby Anderson made a contested one-handed layup to put the Lady Griz back on top, 36-34.
Anderson led UM in scoring with 16 points and also added 13 rebounds. At the end of the third quarter, Eastern Washington led the Lady Griz 45-43.
Junior guard Sophia Stiles made a layup and then a 3-pointer in the final quarter to put UM up 53-47. Stiles had 13 points and six rebounds in the game.
Thanks to some stellar play by Anderson and Stiles in the final quarter, the Lady Griz held on for a 65-62 win over Eastern Washington.
The Lady Griz were able to improve to a 12-7 record while the UM men’s team record dropped to 9-12.
The men's team will travel to take on Idaho State on Feb. 25, while the women's team will play Idaho State at home on that same date.