Ojeda carries Eagles on Senior Night


By Peter Sowards


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Senior Carrie Ojeda made sure Senior Night went as planned for the Eagles.

Ojeda scored a career-high 27 points and pulled in 12 rebounds in her final game at Reese Court as Eastern took care of Weber State 70-53 on March 9 in the last game of the regular season. The Wildcats fell to 0-29 on the year.

Leading by seven at halftime, Ojeda sparked a second-half rally with 14 points and seven rebounds in the first 10 minutes of the second period to give EWU a 16-point lead with 9:44 remaining. She surpassed her previous career-high 21 points, set against North Dakota on March 2.

“She did a great job getting to the line and being aggressive doing some of the stuff we talked about,” head coach Wendy Schuller said. “Besides the fact that she had 27 [points], she had 12 rebounds and I think nine of those might have been in the second half when we really tried to extend it and pull away. I thought we got more aggressive then.”

Ojeda complimented her teammates for feeding her the ball on Senior Night. “I had a lot of fun and I know my teammates gave me the ball when they didn’t have to,” she said. “They had wide-open shots. It was fun to just know that they wanted me to do well as much as I wanted to do well.”

Facing a lesser opponent and with the Big Sky Conference tournament looming, Ojeda said the second-half charge was imperative. “We were kind of dead in the first half,” Ojeda said. “It’s hard to get going for these games sometimes. I feel like in the second half it was really important, going into the tournament, to end on a good note.”

“I was concerned about us not showing up,” Schuller said. “I knew that Weber State was going to fight and do everything they could do to get their first win of the year. I thought that our kids did a good job. They came to play and were aggressive and you always love the fact when your seniors can go out with a win in their last game on our floor.”

Sophomore Kylie Huerta recorded 11 assists and the Eagles assisted on 14 of their 22 made baskets. “Kylie [Huerta] was awesome,” Schuller said. “I thought she did a great job in the open floor making things happen and getting people open looks.”

Two other Eagle seniors, Jordan Schoening and Courtney Nolen, were also honored before the game. Schoening started the game and made a 3-pointer in 15 minutes played, while Nolen was out due to injury. “It was awesome that Jordan [Schoening] got a 3-[pointer],” Schuller said. “Jordan [Schoening]’s had a tough year in terms of an injury that limits how much she can practice.” Even with the injury, Schoening and Schuller decided that Schoening would get substantial playing time and rest the injury later.

Schuller said she hopes Schoening and Nolen cherish the memories they created as Eagles despite limited playing time their senior years. “It’s tough to go through your senior that way because you have dreams of what your college career’s going to be like, and sometimes they turn out spectacular and sometimes the on-the-floor stuff isn’t necessarily what you hoped it would be,” Schuller said. “But, hopefully those young ladies realize that the on-the-floor stuff fades—all those memories fade. It’s all the stuff off the floor, the time with their teammates and the bonds that they’ve made and the experiences they’ve had—that’s what makes your careers and that’s the memory that you’re going to have 20 years from now.”

Ojeda’s 27 points were the most by an Eagle this season, surpassing previous season-highs of 24 points by Hayley Hodgins and Lexie Nelson. Ojeda also recorded five steals and two blocks. She attempted two 3-pointers but misfired on both.

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