Hodgins reaches scoring milestone as Eagles continue non-conference play


Senior forward Delaney Hodgins takes a shot against BYU on Nov. 17. On Nov. 25, Hodgins became the third player in program history to score 1,500 career points | Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

By Jeremy Burnham, Reporter

The EWU women’s basketball team is five games into its 12-game non-conference schedule. So far, the slate has seen the Eagles take on teams like 2016 WNIT participant Brigham Young University and No. 10 ranked University of Oregon. Still to come, EWU will visit Gonzaga University on Thursday, Nov. 30 to take on the Bulldogs. Through five games, the Eagles have a record of 2-3.

The last three games, in which the Eagles went 1-2, saw a more balanced offensive attack by EWU. While senior forward Delaney Hodgins provided the bulk of the scoring during the Eagles’ first two games, she has had some help during the last three.

EWU played host to BYU on Nov. 11.  The Eagles led most of the game, before being outscored 24-16 in the fourth quarter to lose 73-69. Hodgins, who was averaging 28 points a game coming in, was held to only seven points, and zero in the fourth quarter. Junior guard Violet Kapri Morrow scored 25 points to lead the Eagles, while sophomore forward Uriah Howard had a career-high 17 points.

Despite the loss, Eagles head coach Wendy Schuller was pleased with the group effort on offense.

“We did a great job sharing the ball,” said Schuller. “Although BYU did a great job defensively against Delaney, I thought she did a good job of finding her teammates and finding open shooters and others were able to knock shots down. It was good to see some girls get going on the offensive end.”

The Eagles then traveled to Eugene, Oregon on Nov. 21 to take on the Ducks. While the Eagles lost 81-40, Schuller said there were some things she liked in the game.

“I saw positive things, especially in the second half,” said Schuller. “At halftime, our point of emphasis wasn’t about the score or anything else, it was just about ourselves and working to move forward and to do what we want to do on the offensive and defensive end. In the second half, we played with more focus and intent, and we got a lot better.”

No Eagle was able to reach double digits in scoring against the Ducks. Morrow and Hodgins scored eight points each, while Morrow also added seven steals in the loss.

EWU returned to Reese Court on Nov. 25, hoping to put together a complete game against Utah Valley. The Eagles looked better in this game than they had all season.

Forty-nine seconds in, Hodgins hit her first shot, which made her the third player in program history to reach 1500 career points. She joins her sister Hayley  (class of 2016) and Brenda Souther-Robinson (class of 1987) as the only others in the exclusive club.

“It’s a testament to [Hodgins] and how hard she works,” said Schuller. “She’s a great player and has owned her craft. You don’t score like that if you don’t play a lot, and she has been a real honor to coach.”

Hodgins finished with 24 points and nine rebounds in EWU’s 61-41 victory, but she wasn’t the only one to contribute offensively. Sophomore point guard Symone Starks added 15 points and six assists, while Howard had nine points and 11 rebounds. It was the most complete team effort the Eagles have had this season, and it led to their largest margin of victory.

Schuller hopes they can continue to get better when they play Gonzaga this Thursday.

“We have to do a lot of things that we are just trying to get better at,” said Schuller. “We’re in the middle of a process trying to get ready for Big Sky play, it will be a lot of fun to play the Zags.”