EWU women’s basketball drops road pair, fall to 5–4 in conference

With losses to North Dakota and Northern Colorado, the Eagles went from tied for first to seventh place in the Big Sky.


Junior guard Violet Kapri Morrow shoots a free throw on Jan. 20. Morrow is averaging 21.4 points per game over the last seven. | Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

By Jeremy Burnham, Reporter

The EWU women’s basketball team’s four-game win streak came to an end on Jan. 25, as the Eagles dropped a game 81–79 to North Dakota, before losing 68–62 to Northern Colorado on Jan. 27.

Against UND, the Eagles led 2–0, and then 4–2. They did not lead again after that. The Fighting Hawks used a 14–2 run to jump out to a 16–7 advantage. They finished the first quarter up 26–15. The Eagles then started a very slow comeback. UND’s lead was down to seven at halftime, and cut to six going into the fourth quarter.

With 4:58 remaining in the final frame, the Eagles tied the game at 68. They never went ahead, however, and UND would hang on for a 81-79 victory. Junior guard Kapri Morrow had 28 points, senior forward Delaney Hodgins scored 25 and sophomore guard Symone Starks chipped in 13. Thirteen of Hodgins 25 points came from the free throw line as she finished the game only 29 points behind her older sister Hayley as the team’s all-time leading scorer.

Though Hodgins had 25 points, she was uncharacteristically quiet in other aspects of the game. She only had two rebounds, and no blocked shots or steals.

“This is a tough loss, but I am really proud of our team for battling back the way we did after a slow start,” EWU head coach Wendy Schuller said following the game. “There were a lot of factors against us tonight that I think particularly showed up on the defensive end. North Dakota is a very good basketball team and it’s a tough environment to play in, so it’s tough to come up short right at the end, but in the last three minutes they made some big shots and got some big rebounds.”

The Eagles then headed to Northern Colorado. UNC entered the weekend tied with EWU for first place in the Big Sky Conference. However they also lost on Jan. 25.

The game was back-and-forth from the start, and no team ever lead by more than seven points. Hodgins was contained for the first three quarters of the game, entering the fourth quarter with eight points. She would finish with 15 points and five rebounds.

UNC has been led all season by redshirt junior guard Savannah Smith, senior guard Savannah Scott and junior center Courtney Smith. All three average over 10 points per game for the Bears. A few days before the game against EWU, Courtney Smith quit the team for personal reasons.

Then five minutes into the game, Scott, and Savannah Smith collided with each other, and both were injured. They returned for the second quarter, but the Eagles were able to turn a four-point deficit into a five-point lead in their absence.

The game resumed its back-and-forth nature in the second quarter, and retained it until the end.

Smith had 24 points in the win for UNC. Scott had 14.

Morrow led the Eagles with 25 points. She has now scored at least 25 in three of her last four games. Starks added 13 points.

“Northern Colorado is a very good basketball team,” said Schuller. “You’ve got to be your best when you play here in Greeley. I thought we played hard, but it wasn’t our best day. I’m just looking forward to getting home, regrouping and really trying to get our team healthy.”

The back-to-back losses dropped EWU from a first place tie, to seventh place in the Big Sky.

The Eagles return home Feb. 1, when they take on Sacramento State at 6:05 p.m. Hodgins is just 15 points away from breaking her sister’s record. If she doesn’t surpass it against Sac State, she’ll have another chance at home against Portland State on Feb. 3. Admission to both games are free for all EWU students.