EWU women’s basketball splits road pair, move to 2-2 in conference


EWU freshman guard Brittany Klaman drives against North Dakota on Dec. 30. Klaman had a career-high 12 points in the team’s win over Sac State on January 6. | Photo courtesy of Aaron Malmoe

By Michael Brock, Sports Editor

The EWU women’s basketball team split a pair of road conference games last weekend, losing to Portland State 75-60 before beating Sacramento State 83-72. With the results, the Eagles moved to 2-2 in Big Sky play and 7-9 overall.

On Jan. 4 against PSU, EWU took their only lead of the game in the first quarter at 14-13. By the end of the frame, they trailed 18-14. From there the Vikings went on a 13-2 burst to grasp a 31-16 advantage. PSU led the Eagles 37-23 at halftime, as the Vikings connected on 53.1 percent of their attempts.

The second half was a mostly back-and-forth affair, however EWU was unable to pull any closer than eight points. PSU won 75-60, shooting 48.5 percent for the game, compared to 31.8 percent for the Eagles.

Junior guard Violet Kapri Morrow contributed 25 points, including four three-pointers, while senior forward Delaney Hodgins added 16 points. No one else scored in double figures. Sophomore guard Symone Starks had seven points on 3-15 shooting.

Meanwhile, PSU had four players with double-digit scoring. The Vikings were led by junior guards Sidney Rielly (19 points, eight rebounds and five assists) and Ashley Bolston (15 points and eight rebounds). Junior forward Courtney West stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points (7-8 shooting), seven rebounds, four assists and five blocks.

The Vikings had 44 points in the paint, compared to 20 for EWU. PSU also shared the ball well, finishing with 23 assists to the Eagles’ 11.

“Tonight’s loss was on me,” said head coach Wendy Schuller following PSU contest. “I don’t feel like I did a good enough job getting us ready considering the circumstances. I attribute our slow start to that and it was hard to recover from it.”

Fortunately, the Eagles got off to a better start against Sac State on Jan. 6. They did trail 2-5 early on, but led 21-14 at the end of the first quarter. The team kept the lead for the remainder of the game, and held on to a 42-37 halftime advantage. Through 20 minutes of play, the Eagles already had Hodgins and Morrow in double figures.

EWU went on an 11-0 run in the third quarter, capped off by a Hodgins layup to go up 60-46. The Eagles shot 73.3 percent in the frame. They would close out the game 83-72, connecting on 49.2 percent of the field goals for the game—compared to 39.3 for Sac State.

“Wins on the road in the Big Sky are always hard to come by. I was really proud of our team for bouncing back after a tough one on Thursday […] I thought we handled their pressure well and played extremely hard.”

Hodgins put in a complete stat line of 27 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals. This was the senior forward’s eighth game of the season with over 20 points, as she moved into second place on the school’s all-time career scoring list. Hodgins is now 91 points away from passing her sister Hayley’s mark of 1,865.

Morrow and Starks had 15 points each, while freshman guard Brittany Klaman had a career-high 12 points.

“Our young guards did a really nice job and Kapri was a warrior. Delaney stepped up and did so much more than just score for us. All of these things along with great effort from the entire team was necessary for us to get the win,” Schuller said.

The Vikings had three players in double figures, paced by sophomore guard Hannah Friend with 26 points. PSU committed 20 turnovers.

EWU will face off at home against Idaho on Jan. 18 at 5:05 p.m.