Women’s basketball takes down SUU and NAU, continues winning streak


Photo contributed by goeags.com

Delaney Hodgins fights her way through the defenders for a shot.

By Grace Pohl, Staff Writer

EWU women’s basketball is off to a perfect start in the Big Sky conference — the best start for the team in the last six seasons. The team continued their conference winning streak this past weekend at Southern Utah University and Northern Arizona University.

The Eagles beat Southern Utah, which improved the Eagles to 10-6 and 4-0 in conference play. Southern Utah dropped to 3-12 and 0-4 in conference play.

The opening quarter was slow for both of the teams, but the second quarter started a scoring run for the Eagles with a 7-0 run within the first three minutes of the second quarter. EWU went into the half leading, 48-36, while being able to shoot 47.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from the 3-point range.

SUU made their way back into the game cutting Eastern’s lead down to one point with five minutes left in the game with a score of 67-66. SUU eventually obtained the lead with 71-70 and a little over three minutes remaining. Senior Hayley Hodgins took the lead back with a couple more 3-pointers, with her sister Delaney Hodgins helping with another 3-point bucket. EWU eventually took the win with a final score of 85-82.

Hayley Hodgins had a team-leading score of 24 points, with 18 points coming from 3-pointers. This was her 32nd-straight game scoring in double digits. Delaney Hodgins scored 21 points, including a perfect 8 out of 8 free throws. She also had a team-leading eight rebounds.

Junior Tisha Phillips had her first career double-double, having 10 assists and 13 points.

“Hayley and Delaney hit huge threes for us down the stretch and I thought it was a case of us being gritty and finding a way to win. It wasn’t our best performance of the year, but it’s a tough trip and I’d always rather win ugly than lose pretty,” head coach Wendy Schuller said via goeags.com.

The Eagles continued their victory down to Northern Arizona with a score of 81-71. This improved EWU’s record to 11-6 and 5-0 in conference play. Northern Arizona dropped to 5-10 overall and 1-3 in conference.

EWU scored a booming 25 points in the first quarter alone to help with a lead of 43-29 going into halftime. The Eagles shot 48.5 percent from the field in the first half and caused seven turnovers for NAU.

NAU cut the lead to only 7 points with 4:43 remaining. Sophomore Mariah Cunningham answered with a bucket and NAU would not be able to cut down the lead anymore as the Eagles drained all 12 of their next free throw shots, Phillips being able to go 8-of-8.

Hayley Hodgins led in scoring again with 24 points, including four 3-pointers. She also tied her career high with 10 rebounds, adding to her second career double-double. These points put her only 210 points behind the current leader of Eastern’s all-time NCAA Division I scoring leaders.

Phillips had her best career 20 points on just six shot attempts. Most of her points came from the free-throw line, only missing 1 of the 16.

Delaney Hodgins had 14 points with seven rebounds and four steals. Junior Ashli Payne had 10 points and eight rebounds while Cunningham had 8 points, only missing one of her five shots.

“Our team is just full of players who are gritty and gutsy. It’s a group that plays hard all of the time, and that was evident in us getting two road wins this week. We have a lot of weapons, and players are stepping up as they get more comfortable with our system,” Schuller said via goeags.com.