Women soar and fall in final home games


Photo by Karissa Berg

Junior forward Melissa Williams fights for the ball against Northern Colorado during the game on Feb. 27.

By Elohino Theodore, Sports Writer

Eastern hosts Northern Colorado and North Dakota in a fight to the finish

The women’s basketball team finished with their last two home games of the regular season on Feb. 27 and March 1.

The Eagles competed against Northern Colorado on Feb. 27, where they won 67-61.

“We rebounded better that game and we really finished strong with free throws,” senior guard Aubrey Ashenfelter said. “That’s basically what won us the game, is we came in clutch with our free throws in the end.”

Eastern led for most of the night, at the 9:30 mark in the first half, they took their first lead. The Eagles were up by as much as 13 points in the first half. EWU locked down on defense in the first half, so Northern Colorado shot only 30.8 percent for the first half.

“We all bought into our system and [we] made sure we rebounded and played good defense,” redshirt junior Lexie Nelson said. “We still kind of struggled in that game to score as well.”

Freshman guard Jade Redmon scored the first points of the second half to give Eastern their largest lead of the night. Northern Colorado continued to hang around and stay in the game. With 14 minutes left in the second half, the Bears cut the Eagles’ lead to seven.

Redshirt sophomore Hayley Hodgins converted on two free throws to give Eastern a nine point lead. Northern Colorado came back with another run to cut the Eagle’s lead to three. However, the Bears would not get the upper hand, as Eastern pulled away for the win.

The Eagles shot 43.8 percent for the game and tied Northern Colorado in the assists category, 14-14. Eastern had gained 13 points off turnovers and outscored the Bears’ bench, 18-15. Eastern also had nine fast break points compared to NCU’s two fast break points.

Ashenfelter finished with 16 points, four rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Nelson contributed 12 points. Redmon and freshman guard Bethany Montgomery added 10 points each.

Eastern competed against North Dakota where they fell to UND, 61-57.

“I think we played hard as a team, it was a hard fought game, I mean North Dakota is a good team as well,” Nelson said. “We just need to find a way to score the ball a little bit more.”

North Dakota went 9-of-14 in the first 11 minutes of the first half. The Eagles only made two of their 17 shots. With 7:54 left to play in the first half, Eastern went on a 7-0 run to cut North Dakota’s lead.

With 4:54 left in the first half, Montgomery scored a 3-pointer and Hodgins scored a layup to bring EWU to within five. Later on junior forward Melissa Williams went on the foul line to make two free throws to cut UND’s lead to two points. However, North Dakota scored at the buzzer to lead by four points at halftime.

In the beginning of the second half, Eastern took their first lead from a 3-pointer by Nelson. UND fought back with a 10-0 run to lead by nine points. For six minutes, EWU went on a run to get back into the game. At the 6:01 mark, the Eagles would lead by one point, 53-52.

With 3:22 left in the game, Hodgins and senior center Laura Hughes each scored to give EWU a three point lead. After that, Eastern went on a scoring drought and North Dakota went on a 7-0 run to win. North Dakota shot 44.7 percent compared to Eastern’s 38.2 shooting percentage, Eastern was outrebounded 37-27.

Hodgins finished with 14 points, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks in the game. Nelson contributed with 12 points and Hughes finished with 10 points and five rebounds. Ashenfelter had four rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Redmon chipped in with five assists, Williams contributed with four points and six rebounds.

The Eagles are currently preparing for their last two games of the regular season. “We’re working on just basically defending, right now we’re focusing on Idaho State,” Ashenfelter said.

The Eagles will compete on the road against Idaho State on March 6.