EWU women’s basketball opens Big Sky play with close loss to Northern Colorado


Senior forward Delaney Hodgins fights through a group of Northern Colorado defenders on Dec. 28. Hodgins notched 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists in the 70-65 loss to the Bears. | Photo courtesy of Ron Swords.

By Jeremy Burnham, Reporter

After finishing non-conference play with a record of 5-7, the EWU women’s basketball team opened its Big Sky Conference slate with a 70-65 home loss to the University of Northern Colorado (9-3) on Dec. 28.

EWU scored first when junior guard Kapri Morrow hit a three-pointer to give the Eagles the early advantage. That was the only lead the Eagles would manage the entire game. UNC answered with an 11-0 run.

Senior forward Delaney Hodgins, who entered the game 209 points away from tying her sister Hayley’s school record for career points, was contained for most of the first half. With six minutes remaining in the second quarter, Hodgins was still scoreless, and UNC had opened up a 24-12 lead. Hodgins scored for the first time with just under four minutes to go in the half. She had six points in the final 3:55, as the Eagles finished the frame on a 14-4 run. They trailed 28-26 at halftime.

“I thought after the first quarter we played Eagle basketball,” said EWU head Coach Wendy Schuller. “We looked much better.”

Hodgins was a much bigger force after halftime. She finished the game with 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists. However, UNC senior guard Savannah Scott proved to be too much for the Eagles, as she was able to score 24 points of her own.

The Eagles tied the game at 28 at the start of the third quarter, but it would last less than 20 seconds. When UNC went up again, they held the lead for good.

Despite the result, there were some positives in the game. The Eagles, who often struggled during non-conference play to find consistent scoring outside of Hodgins, had four players in double digits. Sophomore guard Symone Starks had 14 points, while Morrow and junior forward Alissa Sealby each had 11.

Rebounding was another bright spot for the Eagles. They beat UNC on the boards, 38-25, as all 10 EWU players who got on the court, had a rebound. However, the team’s 20 turnovers were detrimental. The Bears also shot 50 percent from the three-point line, going 9-18. The Eagles struggled from distance, connecting on just 6-24 from behind the arc.

“In the end, we did a lot of things well but it came down to three-point shooting and that was the difference in the ball game,” said Schuller.

The Eagles will next host North Dakota at Reese Court on Dec. 30 at 2:05 p.m.