Wildcat offense slowed in 69-62 loss to Cal State East Bay - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wildcat offense slowed in 69-62 loss to Cal State East Bay

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By Jonathan Gordon

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Freshman Courtney Johnson (Kent, Wash./Kentwood HS) led four Central Washington University players in double-figure scoring with 13 points, but the Wildcat women's basketball team shot just 27.5 percent from the field in a 69-62 loss to California State University, East Bay on Saturday afternoon at the Sodexo Tip-Off Classic at Brougham Pavilion.

The Wildcats are now 1-1 on the season, wrapping up their season-opening tournament with a split. CSU East Bay also finished 1-1 at the tournament, and is now 2-2 overall on the season.

One day removed from a 51.7 percent efficiency in head coach Shawn Nelson's CWU regular-season debut, the Wildcats made just 19 of 69 field-goal attempts, including 8 of 30 from three-point range, in the seven-point defeat. Central was almost equally cold shooting the ball in both halves, making just 28.1 percent in the first half and an even lower 27.0 percent after the break. They did have a good control of the basketball, securing 24 offensive rebounds and committing just 11 turnovers, but a 14-0 Pioneer run over 8:27 -- as part of a 26-9 spurt -- gave CSUEB control of the game and Central Washington was playing catch up from there.

The Wildcats, who trailed 35-26 at halftime, closed to within five on two occasions in the second half including in the final minute. However, a 48.9 percent efficiency from Cal State East Bay -- including 54.5 percent in the second half -- prevented CWU from regaining the lead after that first-half drought.

Johnson, who played 27 minutes in a reserve role, finished with her first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds despite shooting just 3 of 10 from the field. The same shooting woes plagued the rest of Central Washington's key offensive threats, although teammates Alex Dunn (West Valley City, Utah/Hunter HS), Jessica VanDyke (Chester, Mont./Chester-Joplin-Inverness HS), and Stacy Albrecht (Federal Way, Wash./Thomas Jefferson HS) also reached double figures in scoring with 11, 11, and 10, respectively. However, that trio, combined with senior Sophie Russell (Olympia, Wash./River Ridge HS), made just 12 of 48 shot attempts (25.0 percent) including 7 of 20 three-pointers. Sophomore forwards Amber Moser (Willamina, Ore./Sheridan HS) and Deaira Gordon (Ellensburg, Wash.) were the lone Wildcats to shoot 50 percent or better in the game, going 1 of 2 and 2 of 3, respectively.

Dunn, a transfer from Carroll College, had high numbers in the rebounding and assist departments as well, adding seven boards and seven assists without a turnover. She also had a team-high three steals as the Wildcats forced Cal State East Bay into 21 turnovers.

Guard Sarah Finlay led CSUEB with a game-high 16 points, while Micah Walker added 15 and Marlene MacMillan 12 for the Pioneers.

Central Washington will make its 2011-12 home debut on Monday evening (Nov. 21), facing Evergreen State at 5 p.m. inside Nicholson Pavilion.
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