Women’s basketball rebounds on two-game Big Sky road trip

Womens basketball rebounds on two-game Big Sky road trip

By Elohino Theodore, Sports Writer

The EWU women’s basketball team played two Big Sky Conference schools, Sacramento State and Northern Arizona, Feb. 13 and 15.

During their road trip, the Eagles had a significant change in their rebounding in each of the games. Eastern had 43 rebounds in their win against Sacramento State, and only 31 rebounds in the loss against Northern Arizona. “I think in that last game we were just very lackadaisical,” Freshman guard Jade Redmon said. “[Northern Arizona] wanted the ball more, and they were being more aggressive.”

The Eagles held on to win a close game, 79-73, against Sacramento State on Feb. 13. Eastern shot 52 percent for the game, while the Hornets shot only 32.4 percent. The Eagles also led in the assists category 21-13.

“I thought we shared the ball really well as a team, we had some bad turnovers,” Senior guard Aubrey Ashenfelter said. “But, I thought we played really well, we hustled and we never really stopped played hard.”

During the first half, Eastern went on a 15-5 run by making their first five shots. Redshirt sophomore guard Hayley Hodgins knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Eagles up by 12 points. Sacramento State answered back with a 5-0 run to cut Eastern’s lead to seven, 23-16.

The Eagles would keep their foot on the gas pedal by going on a 19-4 run to increase their lead to 22 points. Eastern held Sacramento State without a basket for almost six minutes; however, the Hornets would rev up to 8-0 run, making the score 42-28 at halftime.

In the second half, Sacramento State took advantage of their momentum and cut Eastern’s lead to two. The Eagles finally fought back by getting to the free-throw line, Redmon converted four free throw shots. Redshirt junior guard Lexie Nelson also scored a basket to put Eastern up by seven points.

Sacramento State continued to defend their court by tying the game, 72-72 with less than a minute left in the game. However, Eastern buckled down on defense and made their free throw shots to get their second road win of the season.

Nelson finished with a game high of 23 points making four 3-pointers. Hodgins contributed with 19 points, eight rebounds and a career high of four blocks. Ashenfelter chipped in with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman guard Bethany Montgomery finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.

On Feb. 15, the lady Eagles played Northern Arizona on the road where they fell to the Lumberjacks 86-78.

“Honestly I just think we weren’t really as prepared for the NAU game,” Ashenfelter said. “Mentally as a team, we didn’t really take it as seriously as we should have and I think that had a lot to do with it.”

Eastern shot 40 percent for the game and 42 percent behind the 3-point line. Despite the loss, the bench outscored Northern Arizona’s bench, 15-7.

Nelson scored a 3-pointer in the beginning of the game, later on Redmon would score to get a 19-9 EWU run to make the score 22-13. With 6:23 on the clock, the Lumberjacks cut Eastern’s lead to three. At the the 4:15 mark, Northern Arizona would eventually grab the lead.

Senior center Laura Hughes scored to put the Eagles back on top. Nelson also converted on pair of two free throws while Montgomery scored a 3-pointer to give the Eagles a five point lead. Northern Arizona would answer back by scoring five straight points of their own. The Lumberjacks would lead at halftime, 37-35.

In the second half, Northern Arizona increased their lead to five points. At the 15:14 mark, they would continue their acceleration by going up by 10. Hodgins converted on a lay-up to stop Northern Arizona’s run.

Free throw shots from Nelson and Hodgins cut the Lumberjack’s lead to four. However, Northern Arizona would continue to be aggressive by increasing their lead again, this time by nine points. Eastern cut NAU’s lead to four once again, by scoring at the free-throw line.

With 4:56 on the clock, the Lumberjacks would leave the Eagles in the dust by answering every one of Eastern’s runs. Hodgins finished with 22 points, while Nelson contributed 14 points. Ashenfelter chipped in 13 points, while Redmon and Hughes finished with 10 points each.

With the significant changes in rebounding from both of last week’s road games, Ashenfelter and Redmon gave their views on how the team can be more consistent. “We just need to make sure that it’s a focus for every game,” Ashenfelter said. “Just being more disciplined, and making sure that our number one goal is to box out first, and limit their offensive rebounds,” Redmon said.