Women’s basketball improves Big Sky record

The Eagles complete sweep of Montana schools


Anna Mills

Tisha Phillips drives to the basket versus Montana

By Brandon Cline, Staff Writer

EWU women’s basketball improved its record to 6-4 in Big Sky conference play with a pair of wins over the University of Montana and Montana State University. The wins positioned EWU into sole position of fourth place in the Big Sky.

The University of Montana, first place in the Big Sky, visited EWU on Feb. 8 in a game that EWU desperately needed to win as they were in the midst of a four-game losing streak. The Eagles got off to a slow start, falling behind 2-8 early in the first half. EWU fought back, though, tying the game at halftime.

“I thought we just stayed determined and we battled, and we weren’t going to let ourselves get down because we needed this win,” said senior guard Jade Redmon.

The Eagles came out determined in the second half, grabbing a 53-43 lead off a jump shot by Marly Anderson with 6:58 remaining.

Following EWU’s performance in the first half, the Grizzlies scratched and clawed to get back in the game, cutting the Eagles’ lead to just three points with 5:38 left. EWU countered Montana’s seven-point run with a seven-point run of their own, leading by 10 with only 1:13 remaining.

Montana would continue to fight as their full-court press forced three EWU turnovers in 19 seconds, including one with just two seconds left while down three points. Rather than shooting a three-pointer to try to send the game to overtime, Montana’s Kellie Rubel made a layup as time expired, giving EWU a 65-64 win.

“I think we could have done a little bit better. We obviously turned the ball over a couple times; they cut the lead down from ten to three. That’s definitely one area we can improve on, but I’m just glad we pulled the win out,” said Redmon, who finished the game with 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Hayley Hodgins was the leading scorer for the Eagles, finishing with 14 points to go along with two rebounds, two steals and three blocks.

EWU took on Montana State at Reese Court on Feb. 7, where they again found themselves off to a slow start, trailing MSU 27-28 at halftime. Delaney Hodgins and Redmon shot a combined 8-14 (57.1 percent) in the first half, while the rest of the team shot 4-18 (22.2 percent).

“I thought we were getting really good looks on that end of the floor in the first half, and I told the team to continue to work because we’re too good of a shooting team not to shoot it better in the second half, and that’s pretty much what we did,” said coach Wendy Schuller.

Just like the game against the University of Montana, EWU pulled away in the second half and had a 15-point lead with 6:49 left in the game. This time, EWU never came close to relinquishing the lead, winning 72-58 against an outmatched Montana State squad.

Redmon was key for the EWU win, finishing with 22 points on 7-9 shooting (6-6 from the free-throw line), while grabbing five rebounds with two assists and two steals as well. Lexie Nelson scored 14 points, all of which came in the second half, while dishing out three assists as well. Melissa Williams stuffed the stat sheet, scoring seven points while having 11 rebounds, three assists and four steals.

EWU hits the road this weekend to take on Sacramento State and Portland State before returning to Reese Court for another pair of Big Sky conference games against Southern Utah University and Northern Arizona University, their only regular season meeting with the two teams.