La GRANDE, Ore. - Poor outside shooting and 19 costly turnovers proved to be too much for Linfield to overcome Sunday afternoon against No. 24 Eastern Oregon, as the Wildcats dropped a non-conference affair with the NAIA Mountaineers 66-45.
Eastern Oregon (10-1) used a 23-4 run going into halftime to put away a Linfield (5-4) club that was unable to generate any offense during the first half. The Wildcats shot just 25 percent from the floor during the half, including a 1-of-9 output from three-point range.
After a Stephanie Fennimore 3-pointer at the 11:36 mark of the first half cut the Eastern Oregon lead to 13-11, the Mountaineers held the Wildcats to just four points the rest of the half. Two Kyle Miller free throws with 6:06 left in the half gave Eastern Oregon a 25-15 lead. Linfield would not trail by less than 10 the rest of the evening.
A Gretchen Owens 3-pointer with 6:49 remaining in the half would be the last Linfield basket the rest of the half, as Eastern Oregon went into the locker room with a comfortable 36-15 advantage. The Mountaineers shot a blistering 56 percent from the floor during the stanza.
After a rough first half, the Wildcats played much better during the final 20 minutes, matching the Mountaineers point-for-point the rest of the way.
An Eastern Oregon 9-2 spurt to start the second half put the game on ice. Nicole Reed capped off the run with a 3-pointer, giving the Mountaineers a 45-17 lead with 17:15 remaining. The lead would swell to as many as 30 late in the game.
Leading the way for Eastern Oregon was Miller with a game-high 11 points. The Mountaineers won with solid team effort, as 10 players got in the scoring column. As a group Eastern Oregon shot 51.9 percent from the field.
Owens was the only Wildcat play in double figures with a team-high 10 points. Kaely Maltman (Jr., Sandy, Ore.) added eight points and eight rebounds in the win. Linfield got a solid effort from Brynna Fuller, who came off the bench and scored eight points.
Linfield struggled to find its touch from the outside, going 2-of-19 from three-point range.
NEXT: Linfield returns to action next Saturday, December 20th, for a 6 p.m. home game against Northwest Christian.
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